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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Using the talents you have

I have convinced that there is enough talent and ability in the world today to make this planet a much better place.

The problem is not, "are there enough people with the skills needed to change our work," but "are we using what we already have?"

In the movie "A Bronx Tale" the character played by Robert DeNiro tells his son, "The saddest thing in the world is wasted talent."

Too many of us are guilty of this—we live beneath our talent. We settle for accomplishing a little instead of a lot.

For example, there are people with a great story to tell—but they will not write.

And there are people with fantastic leadership skills who will not pursue opportunities to lead.

And there are people with bright business minds who will not risk self-employment.

And people blessed with musical ability who won't get in front of an audience.

What holds us back?

As a pastor, I've heard every possible excuse.

Maybe it's fear. Maybe it's laziness. Maybe it's lack of self-confidence. It's different for each person - yet the same.

Here's what I know: God is not the one who says, "Keep your talent to yourself. After all, you're just an average person; what makes you think you can succeed? What makes you think you be a leader?"

God's method has always been to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. H

He used the son of a slave to lead God's people to freedom;

he used a shepherd boy to defeat a powerful giant;

he used a man in exile to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

And he can use you. Don't live beneath the level of your talent.

Ask yourself this week: "What am I good at doing that I am not doing? What talent have I not yet put to use?"

Look for opportunities to do the things you do well. Put your skills to work.

Paul said...

God has given each of the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If you gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:6-8)


Jon said...

Wow, so timely for me. A couple of nights ago (Sunday night after service) I was laying in bed with my wife and it came to me that I should write a book.

Now, I love to write but have always considered my writing to be my personal cartharsis, my own words to myself. I actually have a degree in creative writing but chose to let it lie fallow after getting it because I didn't like the writing profession...that is, all of the junk that goes with the joy!

Anyway, Sunday night I received what I believed was a Word from God to write this book...and I must say that I am probably one of the worst men He could have chosen to write this particular message...but it was pretty clear that it was what He wanted from me. The book deals with being a Godly husband to your wife...and God knows I've been on the far side of that often enough. Now, I'm not a counselor, or a therapist, or a psychologist but God doesn't care...He knows where I've been and what I've seen and what I've done--and He forgave me for all of it and still does these days when I mess up. My point is that I don't feel qualified to write this book...and I'm uncertain as to who would bother to read it as it comes from someone without all of the initials behind their name (ph.d., etc.)...and I don't feel educated enough to write this book and I don't feel Godly enough to write this book. But I find myself sitting here at work, going through my Bible, finding all of God's instructions to husbands and to men in preparation for writing this book. If I stop to think about it, it overwhelms me...if I choose to weigh my qualifications, it daunts me...if I decide to rely on my own strength, it fails me.

Only God will get this book done and only He knows what He wants to accomplish through it. I only know that He wants me to write it and He will make it right, if I but trust in Him. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm scared by this step...I don't want people to read my stuff; it's a rare piece of mine that ever makes it out of my intimate circle of family and friends...but I'm taking it anyway. My strength cannot uphold me but my faith in my Father can.

And I love my wife...when I told her the idea, she didn't say "What do you know about that?" She didn't say, "Who? You?" She knows me almost as well as my Father, knows my faults and my failures, and knows my fears. But she just hugged my arm and said, "Do it." I hadn't told her the idea was from God yet but she still was behind me...I am truly blessed in this world to have her. My family is a daily wonder to me and another stone in my stronghold...Jesus is the cornerstone of that stronghold and our God is the Rock of Ages!

Hey, can we sing that some Sunday? Just a side thought. Anyway, great topic today George. We are all called to be ministers to the world, in some way or another, so please step out in faith that God will lead you straight to where He wants you to be. Thanks for letting me ramble.



Teresa O. said...

We here that phrase so often “God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” I totally believe that, yet who among is do we know who is doing extraordinary things? Many around us are doing amazing things, but not at the capacity God is capable of. I am struggling with that phrase actually because we hear it so often. I know I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and the devil reminding me I wasn’t raised in the church; my experiences aren’t enough to minister, to do God’s work. Yet, I have learned the key is to be obedient. We should all step where God is calling us, not where man thinks we should be. I truly believe if everyone in the church did the ministry God called them to, were obedient, we would have an abundance of ministries flourishing because it is truly God-ordained, not man made. We often fill spots because we can’t find the workers. God promises to bless where we are obedient (Deut 28). If he says don’t work in that ministry, we need to be obedient and vice versa. I agree with George’s comments. There are many missing out on the opportunities because we don’t believe God can use us in greater ways and yet he desires to do more through us for His glory. I’m still learning this amount of faith – to just walk where he leads, truly, and not worrying if I’m capable or not. It is truly walking by faith, not by sight and just doing it. Most of us already know what we should be doing or not doing. It is scary and yet all that matters to me is knowing I’m being obedient to the One who is there to lead me.

PS - Jon if God has planted the seed for you to write, he will give you the words at the time. He will water it and cause it to blossom. You are a brave man to voice it. I don't think I can be so brave to share what I feel God desires to do in me. One day...

Jon said...

Thanks for the words Teresa. Faith, that's what gets me through each day. Faith in the unseen and trust in the one true God who can make all things good and for His purpose. I'd like to think that I was trying to be affirmative in my voicing... but then I wouldn't be truthful--scared is still the word! But excited as well to see what He will bring! My support to you is to speak it and let us help you to remain accountable to Him.

God bless