Jesus tells a story in Matthew 25 that we refer to as the Parable of the Talents. It’s a story about a master who entrusts to his workers “talents,” or some translations say bags of gold or coins. Those who have studied this passage for hundreds of years don’t find the same page on a talent’s worth. Some say a talent equals 75 years’ wages, some say 6,000 days’ wages, some $350,000. What they all agree on is that a talent was worth a substantial amount of money.
This master gave these dudes differing amounts of talents and then goes on a trip. When he returns, he asks for an account, much like Scripture describes what our Master has done. Jesus left for a time and when He comes for us, He will call each of us to an account for what He entrusted to us. Each man in Jesus’ story responded differently with what they were entrusted. The master seems to be impressed by two of them and more than disappointed in one. The man who was given five turned it into ten. The man who was given two turned it into four. These two workers grew what they had been given exponentially and the master said “well done good and faithful servants!” But not the man who had been given one. No, he dug a hole and buried it and the master got real ticked off.
One commonality we all share is that all of our lives have an end. There will be a date on the calendar where your life and my life will have its last day. We will expectedly or unexpectedly eat our last meal. We will hug our last hug. We will breathe our last breath and when that day comes, all our goals, all the wishes we wished when we blew out our birthday candles, all the dreams we tried to make come true, all the things we invested in, all the relationships we did or didn’t tend to, all the words we said and didn’t say, all the choices we made, will all be sealed. There will be no undoing things, no more chances at opportunity, no more time to extend forgiveness and reconciliation, no more ambition used toward accomplishing dreams, no more ability to reach back and help people who we hoped got help. All our material goods won’t go with us, not even the dress we’re buried in.
Life as we know it will end but the clock will keep ticking without us. The sun will set the night we die and it will rise the next day. Monday will come and so will the following Christmas and spring too. Tulips will still pop up to say hello. Kids will still play chase. Lovers will still fall in love and birds will still fly south for the winter. There’s this sense around the way this will all work. We each were given this one life and at its end we will experience a moment where we will meet our Maker and our Master and He will ask what we did with what He entrusted to us.
Before we get all down on God for wanting to have a convo with us about what we did with our one life, let’s first consider what it would mean if God gave us life and didn’t ask for an account? It seems to me that would mean it matters little. But that’s just not the case. God seems to take our lives pretty seriously. He thinks our lives matter so much that it’s like He says “make it all count- I can’t wait to hear what you did with it.”
I get this on a lot of levels. Last summer my son Aidan was a freshman headed to his first away football camp for five days with juniors and seniors who looked like bearded man-children. I figured Aidan might need spending money so I gave him some, explaining I expected him to use it wisely and to bring me back what he had left. So when he got home I said “Do you have any of my money left over?” He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said “I have more money than I left with.” That sounded fishy to me so I asked “What do you mean?”
He explained that every night after dinner there was a snack shack and people could buy whole pizzas. Aidan bought whole pizzas and sold them to kids by the slice. I was like “Are you kidding me? That’s genius!” See, Aidan leveraged what he had and made it so much more. I think that’s what God asks us to do with our whole lives. I think that’s why Jesus told this parable in the first place. I think God asks us to take everything we’ve got, whether it’s our business savvy, our sense of humor, our connections, our giftedness with kids with special needs, our ability to debate, our “woo” factor, our ability to sew, our wealth, our poverty, our strength, our pain, our learning lessons, our cabin in the mountains, our genius ideas, all of what it is we have, and He asks us to leverage it, making more than it already is.
As you can imagine I was a proud parent, just like I think our Father in heaven is when we take what He has given us and turn it into so much more to bless and benefit His other kids.
I cannot imagine what could happen if every one of us leveraged our whole lives, everything you’ve got and everything I’ve got. I cannot imagine what would happen if we leveraged our time, talents, ideas, money, abilities, and resources turning them into more than they once were in order to bless and impact other people’s lives. The challenge Jesus sets before us, is to not just imagine it, but to live doing just that.We’ve got a challenge for you, and we have no doubt you’re up for it. Keep reading to hear how we want you to be a part of changing this world. Let’s leverage our lives, friends.
Every single one of us has gifts that can be leveraged to bless others and change lives. We want to encourage you to consider and USE those gifts in big, small, unexpected, ordinary, incredible, impactful, sacrificial ways. Whatever it looks like for you to use what you’ve got, we urge you to take a step into the boldness of reaching out.
Feeling like you don’t have anything to be leveraged? Be inspired by THIS video of all the ladies on Collide’s Ministry Team telling stories of the way God used them. One woman is impacting a neighbor with her time. One woman is blessing a high schooler with her kindness and generosity. One woman is using her loss and pain to empathize with others. No matter your story, God wants to use it to help others collide with Him.
Join us in the #leverageyourlife challenge so we can spread the encouragement by extending our gifts for a greater purpose and bring the kingdom here on earth, in our very own neighborhoods across the country.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage women to use what they have – whether that be $5, an old gift card they never used, a flower from their garden, a chunk of time each week, or something else entirely – to make an impact on a person or on their community. We believe that when we show up with what we’ve got and ask God to leverage it, He creates something so much greater than what it was.
$10 becomes a coffee date that invites a mourning woman out of her home for the first time in months.
An inheritance you receive becomes the donation that propels a mission to save and change lives.
A grocery store gift card becomes a meal for a single mother struggling to keep her head above water.
An extra bedroom or basement becomes a home for a college student saving up to start their own non-profit.
An average Tuesday morning becomes a time of mentorship and transformation for a foster child.
What once was stagnant brims with life and impact and purpose.
Figure out what YOU have to leverage and use your unique idea to step outside your comfort zone and bless somebody else. Need ideas? Check the hashtag for stories of other women who have paved the way in the movement to #leverageyourlife.
Once you’ve completed the challenge, post a photo or video telling the story of the way God leveraged what you had, use the hashtag #leverageyourlife, tag us (@we.collide), and nominate two friends, challenging them to use what THEY have to bless someone in their own unique way. Include these directions at the end of your post:
I nominate ______ and _______ to #leverageyourlife for @we.collide’s Leverage Your Life Challenge. Use whatever you’ve got to bless somebody else this week and then share your story!