Then he who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground.” Matthew 25:24, 25.
The teaching of this parable is plain. All the gifts of intellect or of property which anyone has are entrusted to him. They are the Lord’s goods, and are to be used to His honor and glory. They are to be improved and increased by use, that the Lord may receive returns from them. But the Lord receives no returns from many talents; for, like the unfaithful servant, those to whom they are entrusted put them where they are not increased.
All in whose hearts selfishness is cherished will listen to the temptations of Satan and will act the part of the unfaithful, slothful servant. They will hide their entrusted treasure, neglecting to use their talents for the Lord…. They have sown sparingly, or not at all, and they will reap sparingly. But although the Lord has told them this in words too plain to be honestly misconstrued, they cherish dissatisfaction in their hearts, and complain that the Lord is a hard master, that they are dealt hardly and unjustly with….
Today this work is being done by many who claim to know God. They speak in a repining, complaining manner of the Lord’s requirements. They do not directly charge God with being unjust, but they complain of everything touching the question of using their influence or their means in His service. Whoever they may be, if those to whom the Lord has entrusted His gifts do not make the best use of their endowments, if they do not cooperate with the heavenly angels by trying to be a blessing to their fellow human beings, they will receive the denunciation from the Lord, Thou wicked and slothful servant. You had My gifts to use, but you neglected to use them…. You, who thought you knew so much, wickedly misrepresented Me and led others to think that I was unjustly hard and exacting. “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” In that day these unfaithful servants will see their mistake and will realize that by selfishly putting their talents where the Lord could receive no increase from them, they have not only lost all they had but have lost also the eternal riches.—The Review and Herald, January 5, 1897.