When God created you, He gave you a special purpose. God didn’t photocopy Adam and Eve; He created individuals. God planned you to every detail. Furthermore, in an exciting and supernatural way, He planned a unique life for you that only you can fulfill and He has given you everything you need to accomplish it. God has wired you to be successful in a special service for Him.
Luke 19:20-27 teaches that God desires us to be responsible with our unique talent and He wants us to use it to serve Him. Somehow, in the reading of this well-known story of the talents, I concluded that the master treated the man who buried his talent too harsh. He didn’t lose his talent. He protected it! And, he returned it in exactly the same condition it was given.
Then I considered that neglecting to develop a talent might be an insult to the gift God has graciously given. Therefore, the question isn’t whether or not God has given me a talent. The question is, with what has God entrusted me and how am I using it to make a difference in eternity?
He has equipped each one of us with a talent that He wants developed and used to further His kingdom. When we remember our purpose is to glorify God, then it makes sense that He wants us to glorify Him using the gifts He has given us.
I suspect the master was upset with the third man because he gave him something to risk, and the man buried it in fear of failure. He was afraid to take a chance. This man should have been willing to risk it all because his talents did not belong to him and we should be able to risk it all because our talents don’t belong to us, they belong first to God.
Today’s blog finishes with quotes that I hope inspire you to seek and discover the unique giftedness God has placed in you.
“You have a ministry. However insignificant it may seem to you, it is very significant to God (Lori Salerno).”[i]
“I hope you realize how much your family, your friends, your church, your community, and this world need you. Don’t allow who you truly are to be lost, buried, or devalued… what is most truly you matters (Lynne Hybels).”[ii]
“If year after year our lives are consumed with activities we’ve been neither gifted nor impassioned to do, and we never have the chance to slide into the sweet spot of giving out of our true self, we pay a higher price in ministry than God is asking us to pay. And the saddest thing is, when we allow this to happen, nobody wins (Lynne Hybels).”[iii]
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive (Gil Bailie).”
How do we discover our unique calling? Tim Challies offers some sound advice in his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (Crossway Books). He writes about five helpful principles to discover your gifts. These principles are: prayer, passion, asking others, trying, and trying some more.
- The obvious place to start when we are searching for wisdom is to go directly to the source of wisdom Himself. Ask God to reveal the areas in which you are gifted.
- You may find you already have great passion for an area of service in which God has gifted you.
- Asking friends that know you well, whom you trust to be mature Christians, may provide great insight and wisdom regarding your abilities.
- Try and try some more. The Holy Spirit may surprise you by uncovering a hidden passion as you try various activities and ministries.
[i] Lori Saleirno, Real Solutions for Ordering your Private Life. (Ann Arbor: Michigan , Vine Books, 2001) 52
[ii] Lynne Hybels, Nice Girls Don’t Change the World. (Barrington: Illinios, Willow Creek Association, 2005) Inside cover
[iii] Lynne Hybels, Nice Girls Don’t Change the World. (Barrington: Illinios, Willow Creek Association, 2005) 58