In the Parable of the Pounds, each servant got a separate pound–one pound, no more, no less. The Lord did not explain what a pound meant, but the pound was a symbol. We suggest that these pounds represent justification; that each believer gets justification.
Justification means the making of the individual right, or acceptable with God. Now after he is thus made right with God, his entire being is justified. Whether he has more abilities or less abilities, he is justified by that one blessing of the pounds in the parable. So then if you had many abilities, none of them would be counted unless you are first justified.
This gift of the Lord, justification, has really made you his servant. Justification covers all the natural strengths you have, whether it be few or many. At the end of your earthly life, you, as a servant, are to account for all that you have to the Lord. How did you use your skills and opportunities to serve Him? All comes through justification (the pound), and would not be counted at all without justification.
If one fails to use his opportunities and privileges, they will be given to another. Paul illustrates this lesson. In Paul's experience, he found some of the brethren were not extremely careful to be used in the Lord’s service. He intimates, in some places, if they had been up to their responsibility, they would have been looking out for his temporal welfare. (See 2 Corinthians 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9.)
Paul mentions it after he had gone to another place. He did not tell them while he was there. Essentially, Paul was saying that if you had chosen to contribute to my expenses I could have served the cause much better while with you. However, as it was, I was obliged to labor in making tents.
But they lost a great privilege of service. Now he intimates that if he found anybody who was losing any opportunity, and that if he could work overtime and get that opportunity, he would be glad to do that much more.
We all have so many abilities of our own. We should be faithful in using those in the Lord's service. If anyone fails to use an opportunity, we are not to stop to quarrel with him and fail to use our own. Instead, we are to go ahead and use our own, picking up this opportunity the brother is neglecting and carry on that much more, so that we will get a great blessing even if he is losing one.
Finally, the servant who did not use his justified life in God’s service buried himself in earthly works. He was unfaithful. He could have at least encouraged others to use his opportunities (gained interest).