I don't like excuses. One of the most frustrating part of being a parent is when my kids make excuses about why they can't do something. I know what they are capable of and I can see the potential inside them. I am ok if they try and don't succeed. But if they don't try and then make excuses, that tells me they are having a lazy moment or they believe they can't do what they have been asked to do.
The second story in Matthew 25 is about a master and three of his servants. He gives them all an amount of money and asks they use it wisely before he comes back. There are many opinions about how much money each servant was given. The truth is we don't know exactly how much they were given because the measurement given was in weight, not specific monetary types (e.g. gold or silver). What we do know is that each talent was a lot of money (some even suggesting it was close to a year's wages).
The point of this story revolves around the motivation of each of the three servants. The first two servants received the talents, used the talents, and doubled the amount they were given. When the master came back, he was given what these servants produced and he made a very telling statement, "Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant." His focus was on the fact that they were faithful with what he had given them.
The third servant is different. He did not use what the master gave him. He buried it. And when questioned about it, the servant only gave excuses.
I must be honest, as I read through this story, my mind often wonders to bigger questions like what is my purpose? I long to do what God is asking me to do and it can get overwhelming at times when I don't know the details of plan for my life. So as I read through this story again, I asked God over and over, "What do you want me to do for You and Your kingdom?" His answer was simple but profound. He said, " Use what I gave you." We all have gifts and talents the He has given us. Some of these talents are skills, opportunities and resources. He wants us to use what He gave us for Him. They are not for our own gain... But rather for His.
How can you use what He gave you for His purposes? And remember, don't make excuses... because God has given you talents! Now it's up to you to make something of them.