Christ teaching in the Parable of the Talents provides understanding that God distributes portions of his resources as grants of human capabilities to every person; which he expects all to deploy toward their individual responsibility to themselves, others, and the environment. He expects every person to do this the same way he would, if he were to manage human responsibilities and capabilities directly in human form. Further, he expects every person to expand and diversify their human capabilities by using them, rewards those that do, and punishes those that stagnate theirs by declining opportunities to use them.
We discuss Christ teaching in the Parable of the Talents to understand that God distributes portions of his resources among people as grants of human capabilities: to empower every person to perform their individual responsibility to themselves, others, and the environment. He expects every person to deploy the resources he grants to them toward their individual responsibility, the same way he would if he managed human responsibilities and capabilities directly in human form. Also, he expects every person to expand and diversify their capabilities by using them.
Further, Christ explains through the parable that God recognizes two human categories based on what a person does with the capabilities he granted to them. One category is the righteous. These are people that use their capabilities and expand and diversify them as a result. The other category is the wicked, which are people that stagnate their capabilities by refusing to use them. God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked.
This understanding of the Parable of the Talents is based on Matthew 25:14–30 and enriched by our previous discussion of Living in the Image of God.
A person may provide goods or services free or for-fee to alleviate a need. Preferably free to respond to a call to compassion, or for-fee if necessary to sustain the goods or services. In all cases, including commercial enterprise, adhere to fair fee for service and fair value for goods. God blesses the provider in a call to compassion. However, one motivated by commercial expansion could earn rewards through potential profit and blessing dependent on others, but no independent blessing.
We discuss differences and similarities between a call to compassion and a call to a commercial opportunity. In a call to compassion, a person is directed to an opportunity to develop goods and services to benefit others. In contrast, a commercial opportunity alerts a person to develop goods and services for personal commercial benefit. The two types of opportunities at times differ only by a thin line. In fact, the human attributes for recognizing and understanding a call to compassion are essentially the same as the attributes for recognizing and understanding a commercial opportunity.
Understanding the opportunity determines whether to provide goods or services free or for-fee to address the need. In a call to compassion, the motivation to address the need is driven by care of the needy (i.e., hunger and thirst for righteousness). In contrast, the motivation to address the need in a commercial opportunity is driven by care of the provider’s commercial interest (i.e., hunger and thirst for commercial expansion). In either case, the provider is driven by care to link the recognition of a need to commitment to address the need and perseverance in seeking to alleviate the need. Thus, a person disposed to recognize and respond to a call to compassion also will be disposed to recognize and respond to a commercial opportunity.
In previous studies such as under Responsibility in Call to Compassion, we discuss guidance for recognizing and responding to a call to compassion. This bible study focuses on the guidance, principles, and examples for developing a commercial opportunity in a way consistent with Living in the Image of God.