In our society of lightning fast technology, it makes incredible and before unimaginable advances possible. We can connect as family, friends, and even strangers – all around the world. This is a great benefit in countless ways.
However, on the flip-side, it can be a disadvantage as we can present ourselves only at our best. In turn, we oftentimes then compare our-self, our families, our things with what others have, make, look like and achieve.
When I was a girl, even a teenager…ok, I fess up and admit that as an adult I look at others talents and abilities and match them, to my own. I can’t sing, dance, I’m not athletic, nor an orator, really I couldn’t find a talent to latch onto and say, “I can do this___” and claim it with pride.
What about you?
I was reading Matthew 25:4-30 (King James Version), the parable of The Talents which has alluded me in its deeper meaning for many years.
Lately, I have pondered and studied this story. If you will indulge me, I would like to share what I found that may be interesting to you, if you are the same as I, and wonder what your gifts might be and how this parable can apply to our life today.
The parable begins with a man, the Lord, who gives to his servants talents.
- To one he gives five
- to another two
- and another one
Notice each is given talents”to their ability”. We could go very deep into this parable, but for this musing, let’s just talk about finding our God given abilities He sent us here with.
The first servant who was given five talents he multiplied those talents and made another five talents. When the Lord returned and asked for an accounting, the servant who had been given five talents, and now had ten total was praised with: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
The second servant who was originally given two talents, multiplied those talents to make four talents. When the Lord returned and asked for an accounting, the servant who had been given two talents, and now had four, and was praised with: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
Notice that the servant who had five and the servant who had two both now have the same reward because they were willing to work with what they had been given, in faith that it was enough and what God felt was needed in their life.
They each took the talents given them and –
1. Developed them – made them visible and usable.
2. Used them in positive ways.
3. Found ways to make the talents grow.
Even when uncomfortable or difficult, we must USE (action word!) our talents to serve, develop and grow. That is what makes us greater and worthwhile; isn’t it?!
Now the third servant was given one talent and instead of trying to make something of his single talent, he buried it in the ground! When the Lord came to ask for an accounting of what he had done with the gift/talent he was favored with, the servant tried to turn it back on the Lord by blaming Him! The servant said the Lord was too strict, too harsh, asked too much and he was afraid to have any faith in the talent he was given to share with others as God had wanted him to. For that attitude and lack of action, he was chastised and not given the same reward.
Remember at the beginning we read, “to their ability”? God gives us talents, gifts, abilities, skills, so that we can grow, be happy and learn.
I sincerely believe that every single human being is born with at least one gift from God in order to improve their life and that of others.
Our talents are to be used to edify, build, nourish, improve, and in all ways make life better in righteous ways.
Always to lift a burden, ease a care, help others find their way out of poverty, alleviate sorrow, push down hate and all evil. Our talents are to bring our-self, our family and others to God and Christ.
You may be as I, and wonder at times: what abilities could I possibly have? Mainly, never forget that YOU are unique, remarkable and have divinity within YOU. And that alone makes you extraordinary! In case you need help defining your own talents, read on.
Here are some gifts that are very important and valuable, though not always easily recognized such as*:
- The gift of asking God for appropriate things
- The gift of listening to God
- The gift of listening to others
- The gift of hearing and using a still, small voice
- The gift of being able to weep (with those that mourn also)
- The gift of avoiding contention
- The gift of being truthful
- The gift of not having to be right, but looking at the other persons perspective also and still holding your opinion and not arguing or being forceful with your take on the situation
- The gift of encouraging others and building their confidence
- The gift of keeping a confidence (of course this does not include dangerous situations)
- The gift of running to one you have offended to make it right, when the Spirit tells you to do so
- The gift of being a peacemaker
- The gift of appropriate humor and making others laugh
- The gift of being agreeable
- The gift of kindness
- The gift of being a calm person
- The gift of being a moral person
- The gift of standing for the right even when under pressure, or when the way is more difficult
- The gift of patience
- The gift of teaching
- The gift of being an example of living correct principles
- The gift of sorting through an issue or problem before reacting
- The gift of being a true friend
- The gift of avoiding vain repetition when praying
- The gift of seeking that which is righteous
- The gift of not passing judgement
- The gift of looking to God for guidance
- The gift of being a disciple of Christ
- The gift of caring for others and their best interest
- The gift of putting others at ease and making them feel comfortable when they are with you
- The gift of helping others realize their importance as a son or daughter of God
- The gift of being able to ponder the genuinely important aspects of life
- The gift of offering sincere prayer
- The gift of bearing a mighty testimony.
What amazing gifts these are and the list could go on for pages!
There are so many wonderful talents that enrich our life, make it more exhilarating for ourselves, our family and all those we encounter in our journey of life. These gifts can also help us live longer and healthier lives.
How grateful I am for those who can dance, sing and entertain with wholesome and decent performances.
I love good clean humor; laughter truly is remarkable medicine for the soul. Artists, doctors, and inventors-all the pioneers who dream and then have the knowledge to design objects and machines I could not even imagine; I applaud and am incredibly grateful for their contribution.
As we look at those who can build, perform and seem to have a greater impact than we ever could, do not despair, give up, or blame God that we do not have anything to give, a talent or skill that is noteworthy or evident.
Remember; the only requests He has are:
1. Is to ask God what our gift(s) is that He sent you with
2. Use it/them to the fullest to serve others and glorify Him
3. THEN you receive every blessing He has to offer. Isn’t that the most wonderful news!
We do not have to compete with what others are doing, making, look like or have!!! It was never meant to be a contest. Relish others genius, accomplishments and aptitude!
Simply develop our own gifts to the best of OUR abilities, and then use them to help others become better and closer to God. As we do this, we naturally will be drawn on the same course. Consequently, our lives will be richer, we will have PEACE, CALM, and PURE JOY. That is a reward indeed!
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today
*a portion of this list is from Elder Marvin J. Ashton