"For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away."
Recent figures show that there are at least seven billion folks on the surface of the earth. I cannot begin to imagine how low the percentage of this multitude I have come to meet or know. But of all the people I have come in contact with, I am yet to meet even one who is completely without a talent or gifting. Irrespective of how the educational and economic systems of this world have been structured to make us believe otherwise, there is a certain level of creativity that God has implanted in each and every one of us. This creative power is what we generally call a talent.
If it weren’t so, then one could say that some men weren’t made in God’s image and that would make God’s word false. Even though it is the human spirit that is made completely in God’s likeness, there is still a certain deposit of God in the human mind too. So, your talent is God’s implant within you to reproduce after His kind. It is faithful this saying that, “Your talent is God’s gift to you and what you do with it is your gift back to Him.” And this leads us to the main focus of this reflection; what attitude must we embrace as regards to our talents?
The Parable of the Talents: A Twist
There are quite a number of vivid lessons to learn from the Parable of the Talents that we find in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27. In studying these passages, one quickly recognizes that we will be held accountable for how we choose to use our talents. We also learn that it seems God’s idea of equality is rather different from ours. But while we are not created equal, we are all created useful and every one of us has been equipped with enough resources to fulfill God’s purpose for their creation. It seems also that the major admonition of this parable is not to bury the gifts God has given unto us.
But in my opinion, this is not the heartbeat of God for our generation. This generation is most definitely not interested in burying their talents. Our pastors and motivational speakers have instilled in us a need to be celebrated; to pursue after man’s approval. So, maybe what we need to discuss in our time is not the necessity of putting our talent to use but that of putting it to proper use. The problem is that now when we think of our talents, we immediately think of ourselves too. We consider our talents to be our own property; to be used solely for our profiting. And when we begin to see ourselves as proprietors and not custodians of our talents, we miss out on so much of the utility God originally intended for them. Your talent is not about you: there is a big world out there depending on how judiciously you utilize it. Your talent is not for show: it has not been given to attract men’s accolades. God actually has no business with that. What is impressing a fellow creation of God in comparison with the timeless purpose God wants to actually achieve through us? If only we would let Him!
The Talent, the Anointing, and the Place
The kind of man under the greatest pressure to maximize his potential is the renewed man: the Christian. The Christian has been too blessed and equipped to fall short of utilizing his talent for God’s glory. At redemption, your already potent talents become even more potent because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, we aren’t being taught right these days. Today, when we think of bringing glory to God, we think only of the pulpit, of ministry. We forget that even after you have received an anointing upon your God-given gifts, there is still a need to know the God-ordained place for this anointing to function. Not every fervent fruit-bearing believer must be behind the podium. The church thinks she’s losing many talents to the world but fails to recognize that her greatest loss is to the pulpit. There are too many people anointed by God but have some found themselves in the wrong place.
The time has come when Christians must take their place in various spheres of life. We need to see believing engineers, accountants, doctors, and clerks who shake their offices for Christ. Because though the CEO may never turn on the TV to watch your favourite Christian show or listen to some fiery preacher on his daily commute, he will definitely attend a board meeting. And someone on that board could be a witnessing believer; he could be you! So, let’s be reminded that the place to radiate God’s glory is not in the church but in the world. For Christ says, “Let your light so shine…” Therefore, go on, hone that talent, don’t place it on the pedestal of your ego but in God’s hands and watch him transform lives through you!