Have you ever heard the phrase, “God-given talents?”
As a Christian, I think it’s true. God molds us with certain abilities that others don’t have. True, though hard enough work, most of us can do just about anything very well, but if another puts in the same amount of work, they will do better, or they may do just as well as someone else with remarkably less effort. That’s called talent.
But here’s the rub: talents aren’t genies in bottles waiting to be tapped at any time. Talents are like muscles; if you neglect them, they will weaken and wane. I have some talent singing baritone, but I can’t sing nearly as well as I did in high school. In high school, I was in choir, so I sang every single day, then I did it some more in college. Now, I barely sing because I get distracted by work and everything else. I can still sing fairly well because I do have some talent, but I’m nowhere near what I used to do when I practiced, or anyone else who practices for that matter.
Of course, like muscles, talents can grow if you use them properly. Train them, strain them, pump them, and you’ll notice those “talent muscles” getting firmer and stronger and much more noticeable. I have to squeeze hard to show the strength of my bicep. Ryan Gossling just has to pick up his coffee.
I believe talents are like anything else God gives us: they are tools for our use for His kingdom. Just like money, jobs, bodies, and material things, anything God gives us is something to use and manage. I refer you again to the story in Matthew 25:14, the parable of the talents. A master gave his servants talents (large sums of money) and issued them to do business. When the first two did, they were rewarded. When the third did not, he was punished.
The story talks about money, but God doesn’t just give us anything to sit on it. So why should the abilities and natural inclinations he gave us be any different?
Stop and think: what are your talents? Can you sing? Are you artistic? Are you physically capable? Are you intuitive? Can you fix things like nobody else? If you don’t know, ask people! Find out what you can do better than others! Even if it seems insignificant and trivial, find out!
God can use that, in fact I dare say he plans to. My dad could play basketball quite well when he was young. However, he never played professionally, or even in college. It may seem like a wasted talent, but his skills allowed him to play basketball with another young man. Through their games together, my dad was able to lead this young man to Christ.
That’s why I started this blog. I know God gave me a talent to write, but it would die if I let it (Proverbs 27:24–a crown does not endure all generations). So, I started this blog not to get big and famous, but basically to practice the craft of writing. That’s why I post both Christian posts and general posts–to sharpen my abilities to teach and to hone my general craft of writing. Even if no one reads, I would keep writing because it’s not really for them, it’s for me and for God. In fact, starting with nothing has helped me already to learn how to write and how to make it marketable, even just a little. With God’s help, I’ll get better, and whenever God requires me to use this particular “muscle”, I’ll be ready.
So what can you do? I know a large hunk of you bloggers can write very well. I’ve read through many of my followers’ posts and followed others, too. I know many of you can write well. I know some of you have an eye for family. I know some of you can teach. I know some of you can be so cotton-picking hilarious that it hurts. Others of you have fantastic insight, whether to the scriptures or general worldly things. And I’ll bet some of you can make a mean grilled cheese.
Tell me your talents.
How do you think God can use them?
How do you think you can practice them?
And remember, God doesn’t want you to take any journey alone. He will cultivate your skills if you let him and take them farther than you ever could on your own.