Susan Barba


      You’re standing center stage. The spot light turns onto you. You sing out to your heart’s content the song by Whitney Houston. You finish and the crowd goes wild. The judges in front of you give you four big fat yes’s. What do you do next? Feel relieved that you did it, or give God the glory and thanks He deserves? That voice was placed into you for a reason. It’s not yours to keep. Neither is that football jersey, nor the PhD you received. It all came from God. Why did God give us the talents he did, and what do we do with them? 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us the answer: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I don’t know about you, but I would accept just about any gift or present that one of my friends gave me.  So why would we ever want to reject a gift from God, who knows us in every way.  He is the one who gave us our special gifts and abilities. We should not reject them, but use them. “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today,” (New International Version Deut. 8:18). We should rejoice that the LORD has given such great talents, and not question Him. We should enjoy them to the full, and not waste them away. “Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God,” (Ecc. 5:19). 1 Timothy 4:4 says, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” When we refuse to use God’s gift, we will have to explain why when we stand before God.  Jesus has said many times that the day and hour is unknown, so how can we be sure that we will have time to share our gift tomorrow? We must begin today, right now (Oke, "The Living Word Library"). We are uniquely and beautifully created. He made us the way we are and gave us these talents that set us apart from the rest of the world. He makes us holy (Warren,  "Make the Most of Your Talents").

Matthew 5:16, ”In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” (What Does the Bible Say About Using Talents?). Here, Jesus is telling us that we need to be a light to the world. We need to show that our unique gift is not something we bought for ourselves. It is an extravagant gift given from God, although not ours to keep. Likewise, we need to use our gifts to help, and serve others. Whether it be teaching, art, music, writing, or something else, we will be used by God to be a light to those who are in the dark. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms,” (1 Peter 4:10). God has trusted us with being able to use his gifts, so we need to know that we can use them correctly. “…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked,” (Luke 12:48). When we know our gifts, we can be a blessing to those whom we share it with. We are blessed to be a blessing, as it says in Genesis 12:2 (Warren, "The Four Laws of God's Blessing").

God rewards the wise. When we use our talents wisely, He WILL give us more, He WILL make us better. Luke 6:38 ”Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  If we are mediocre with our talents, we will only be given mediocre blessings. If we completely ignore our talents, we will not receive blessings. Tim Tebow is a great example of playing for God, “On the field I'm trying to play for the glory of God but then also I'm trying to give everything I have and win and compete. And so I think more than just winning or losing, I think He cares about where our hearts are when we're playing,” ("Tim Tebow Quotes”). So the saying “practice makes perfect” has a new meaning. If we play soccer and we practice and give all our glory to God in our victories, we will get better and better, because HE is the one increasing our skills. God may not only bless you in your gifted area, but also in many other areas of your life. He may give you money, or give you amazing friends. We can only receive such blessings if we use the blessings we have already been given.

We cannot give God the glory and thanks he deserves by not using our abilities. When we enjoy our gifts and put them to good use, God is very pleased. 2 Corinthians 5:9 tells us this: ”So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” God has already planned for us what we must do with our lives and with our talents. We are created in his image. We have been given a small portion of his great, wondrous abilities. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” (Eph 2:10). We have been put on this earth to serve God and to bring Him glory. Isaiah 43:6-7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” We are inspired by God to use our abilities to glorify and serve Him.  It is up to us on whether we want to use them or not.  Remember again the passage from 1 Peter 4. God has commanded us to “faithfully administer His grace” in any way that he has given us (Bird, "Tossing It Out").

It is important that when we go out into the world to serve the LORD, that we have the right mindset. We are not doing it so that we can feel better about ourselves. We are doing it ALL for God’s glory and honor. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast,” (Eph 2:8-9).  We must always remind ourselves that it is God who blessed us with these talents.  If we go on day-to-day thinking nothing but of ourselves, our talents will be meaningless. They will fade, and become nothing when we die. If we continue to thank God everyday, we will be blessed for all of eternity. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism,” (Col 3:23-25).

It is possible that fame and fortune could come from being great at hockey, or a singer, or a musician. Even though you get paid in your job that you are extremely good at, remember to thank God. ”Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment,“ (1 Tim 6:17). That money you earned, that great house you bought, and that fancy sports car you have, it will not last. The blessings you receive from all the people you meet, the evangelism from when you decide to spend your money on a trip to Africa instead of the Bahamas, and the smiles you get from the small children at your daycare, will last forever. God will be forever pleased when you use His gifts for good, and not for the corruption, and use by the Devil.

Now God give us these talents he did and we know what to do with them. 1 Corinthians 10:31 again says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” We were put on this earth to glorify Him. It is our job to obey that. We are to follow his path, though we do not know what exactly he has planned ahead for us. “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?” (Isaiah 45:9). We should not question God on why he gave us our specific gifts and talents, but we know that He did it for a purpose. He trusts and knows that we will be able to put it to good use, to glorify God by using it to serve others, as well as Himself.

Works Cited

Bird, Arlee. "Tossing It Out." Tossing It Out. A to Z April Challenge, 16 May 2010. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.

Oke, Dele. "The Living Word Library." What Are You Doing with Your 'God given Gifts'? Christian Resource Center, n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.

"Tim Tebow Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.

Warren, Richard. "The Four Laws of God's Blessing." The Four Laws of God's Blessing. Purpose Driven Life, 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.

Warren, Richard. "God Smiles When We Use Our Abilities." God Smiles When We Use Our Abilities. Purpose Driven Life, 15 May 2010. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.

Warren, Richard. "Make the Most of Your Talents." Make the Most of Your Talents. Purpose Driven Life, 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.

What Does the Bible Say About Using Talents? Open Bible, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2013.