June 23, 2019 - INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE HEART
The word "talented" is a very vague adjective that could mean a million different things. Every person in the world has some sort of "talent," but there are certain ones that are generally more popular than others. Even in the church, talents like singing, playing instruments, and public speaking are regarded quite highly as they are skills that are very visible to the entire congregation. When you're up on the stage and everyone's eyes are on you, it's almost inevitable that someone sometime will praise you for your abilities.
The danger of having a "visible" talent is in becoming caught up in the performance for an earthly audience rather than the praise of our Audience in heaven. Being in the worship team for as long as I have, this is something I've struggled with for a while now. It's very tempting to think highly of myself for being able to play a bunch of different instruments, or for being available to play virtually every Sunday. I have to consciously remind myself every time I'm on stage who all the singing and music is actually for. Also, I try to keep in mind who gave me the ability to play these instruments, who blessed me in so many ways to get me to the place where I am now.
The other side of the coin when it comes to talents in the church is refusing to serve because we don't find ourselves "talented enough." We compare ourselves to the people that we see on stage and think how we can't ever measure up to them. We desire those "popular" talents and sometimes fail to realize that we have been gifted in other, less visible ways to serve God and His kingdom. This reminds me of Moses in Exodus chapter 4 when God speaks to him from the burning bush. Even though he's getting a direct command from Yahweh Himself, Moses keeps doubting himself and begs God to choose someone else to lead the Israelite slaves out of Egypt. God continually reassures Moses, telling him that He will be with him and that it would be His power Moses is demonstrating to Pharaoh, not his own human abilities.
Imagine if God actually listened to Moses' pleas to send someone else to Egypt. Moses would have totally missed out on being the one that God works all of those amazing miracles through. That's one of the really cool things I've learned about God in my life: He doesn't need any of us to do His work in the world. In His sovereignty and grace, He just allows us the opportunity to join Him in His work, to witness His power in and through us to impact the world for His kingdom's sake.
Overall, the main point we have to remember is that all the talents we possess are merely a gift from God. Whether it be singing, playing instruments, speaking in public, cleaning, caring for kids/elderly, listening with compassion, praying, and whatever else, all of it is from God. How are you going to use yours to give back to God all that He deserves? Are you willing to join Him in His work by using your God-given talents for His kingdom's sake?