This expression (Luke 8:18) occurs in a number of New Testament passages, Matt. 13:12, Mark 4:25, etc. Its meaning is most evident in Matt. 25 :29, and Luke 19:26, in connection with the parable of the talents, or pounds. Christ is stating in these words two laws which are universal. First, a man must have something to start with before he can do any work. Second, if he does not make good use of what is given he loses it In other words: something never comes from nothing; neglect means loss. Every man is given something to start with for working out his life plan. If he neglects to use what he has he loses it. It cannot be said that God takes it away from him; the man simply lets it slip through his fingers. Helen Keller had very little to begin with, but she made such amazingly faithful use of that, that she gained much more. She used and developed the sense of touch till it has become almost equal to sight and hearing. But a sense or a muscle unused becomes useless. A man has only to stop walking and he will soon lose the power to walk. It is ridiculous to say that there is anything cruel about this. It is simply the law of life. And the law works no hardship to any one who has a desire to make good use of life. In the passage (Luke 8:18) the law is applied to hearing. When a man hears a truth he must follow it and apply it quickly. If he does not he will forget it, or cease to believe it, or lose it in some other way.