Photo: Geoff Crawford/Tearfund

From: Microenterprise – Footsteps 80

How to start and run a successful small business

The parable of the talents   


Matthew 25:14-30 

As a businessman and entrepreneur I am encouraged by the number of Jesus’ parables that are set in the context of business and include modern ideas such as ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI). But then it is not surprising: Jesus spent most of his adult life as a businessman. As the oldest son in the family business he was not just making things, but dealing with customers and suppliers. 

This parable is a challenge to everyone, especially leaders, to take a good look at our ‘ROI’, whatever that means in our particular context, as well as our compassion and generosity. 

Using this parable, here are two  practical areas for prayer and  reflection.    

2 

Early church leaders took big personal risks for the possibility of great gain. Am I prepared to look foolish, or take financial risk, or risk upsetting some who would rather maintain the status quo, than press forward? 

Although this parable concludes with a strong warning, we should remember the words in verse 23, ‘Well done good and faithful servant … Come  and share your master’s happiness!’ This should  encourage us to work hard for God. 

Jerry Marshall is General Manager of Transformational Business Network, a network of business and professional people who use business to alleviate poverty. 

Email: jerry.marshall@tbnetwork.org 

Web: http://www.tbnetwork.org/   

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