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With Talent on Loan from God


Love him or hate him, larger-than-life radio personality Rush Limbaugh had some interesting catch phrases, one of which forms the title of this article. It is more correct than most people might think. We have all been given talents and abilities from God. He does expect us to use them to His credit and His glory. He will demand an accounting from everyone when He returns. Although we all have various talents and abilities, they are often abused and misunderstood. May the Holy Spirit guide us, as He is a giver of most wonderful gifts (Galatians 5:22-23).

Keep jealousy in check. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing another’s abilities and wondering, “Why can’t I . . . (fill in the blank).” It is also easy to consider someone else’s talent as more important or prominent than the talent we possess and then to belittle or under-appreciate our own. What a horrid world this would be if we all possessed the same abilities! Everyone would be scrambling for the same positions and leaving who knows how many unfulfilled. Rather, let us thank God for the talents of others, as well as our own.

His will, not ours. The norm today is to perpetually promote the lie to our children that they can be whatever they want to be. A quick inventory of our own desires versus abilities will show the fallacy of this statement. You may have wanted to be a professional athlete, but reality shows that only 1% of the top 1% have the ability to do so. Another may wish to be an architect; however, no one will trust an engineer or designer if he happens to be terrible at math. TV personality Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs fame, encourages young people not to follow their passion when pursuing a career. Rather, he suggests, find something you are good at and bring your passion with you.

God has given you talents and abilities. Most of us don’t know the limits or range of them until we are challenged. Let the Lord lead your heart to seek what He desires you to do. Not all are called into the preaching or teaching ministry; however, all are called to proclaim the Gospel and serve Him in whatever they do. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

Find your niche. Our vocations should first and foremost honor God. Secondly, they ought to provide support for our families. Our avocations, however, are the area where we may hone the skills and talents God has given us not only to amuse ourselves, but also to serve others as well. Look in your talents and abilities toolbox and compare your inventory to your church’s, your neighbor’s, or your community’s needs. Did you find a fit? Ask the Lord to give you the courage to use your ability and find the joy in serving others.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, and then read it again. You are a member of the body of Christ. He does have a place for you!

So when the Lord returns to see what we have done with the talents He has lent us, He will see us clothed in the robe of His own righteousness. Then we will hear Him graciously exclaim, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

David W. Bernthal is a retired teacher. He is a member of Luther Memorial Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.