Saturday, November 03, 2007

Making the Most of Our Talents

“Excellence is doing the best with what you have.” Bo Boshers; Student Ministry for the 21st Century, p. 41

A battle that I constantly fight with myself is this attitude of “If I only....” I believe that most people at one time or another has experienced this. “If I only had musical ability I would do a special on Sunday.” or “If I only made $100,000, then I would tithe.” Hopefully you see my point. Too often we focus on what we don’t have rather than doing the best with what we do have. We write up our failures and our lack of effort to the fact that we don’t have this or that.

Many times as we look around the Church and our local church families we see all sorts of things that could be done. What keeps us from making changes is this idea: “If we only...” Sure it would be nice if money wasn’t an issue, if we had the time and the personnel to do all these great and wonderful things, or if tradition wouldn't tie our hands, but wishing doesn’t make it happen.

There is a lesson from the Bible that we can apply here. Jesus told a parable about a rich man who went off on a long journey. Before going on that journey the man called three of his servants together. To each of these men he gives a sum of money. The first he gives five talents, to the second two talents, and to the third one talent. You know the story, the man is gone for a long time, but the servants do different things with their money. The first two invest it and double the money they had been given and the third one buries his for safe keeping. When the man comes back he is pleased with the first two but is furious with the last one.

One lesson that we can take from this parable, found in Matthew 25:14-30, is a simple one. We recognize that God has blessed each one of us differently, and therefore He doesn’t expect us to be alike. What God does expect is that we use the talents and the blessings He has given us to build His kingdom. We don’t need to be worrying about what we don’t have, because God has provided us with the things we need to impact the people we know and make a difference in the place we live.

Don’t start playing the, “If I only..” game. Instead think about what God has given you, and use that to the best of your ability. Pursue excellence, and when we do, we will discover that we can do so much with what we already have.

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