A few Saturday's ago my mom and I took a trip to a little gift shop in our town, my husband gave me a $40-dollar gift certificate for Christmas last year and I figured I better use it before Christmas was here again. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I figured I know it when I saw it. As I was walking around I found a wall hanging with a quote I had never heard before, by a lady I'd never heard of either. Her name is Erma Bombeck. I looked her up and although she wasn't a lady who necessarily dedicated her life to ministry, her quote ministered to me, When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'. . (Bombeck, 2016) My first thought when reading this quote was singing, I love to sing. Our little country church as a gifted group of people who gather once a month to play for service and I am blessed to be able to sing with them as they play their guitars, mandolins, and banjos. We sing songs like What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and Farther Along, the good old gospel hymns with so much meaning. I have been singing since I was a child, my grandmother was very musical and she knew I had a voice. She was very persistent that I use this talent to sing His praises! About two years ago I found myself with health issues that impacted my voice, I lost my voice and the doctors were not sure that I would ever get it back. (That is another story for another time) With time, surgery, and therapy I did regain my voice and now am able to sing just as I used to! What a blessing this is! That time was a bit dark for me, but though tears, I knew that God was using that experience to teach me something bigger about myself. And he did.
The simple definition of talent according to Miriam Webster is a special ability that allows someone to do something well . You see, when I looked at myself, for the most part, the worth I found was in my ability to sing, to praise God thought that special God-given ability. But talent is so much more than the obvious, the things that openly glorify God. Our talent and ability to serve the Lord comes in so many different forms. I was golfing with my 15-year-old son this last weekend and was pondering how being a good, well rounded parent is a talent, a talent that we can use to glorify God by giving our children a strong example of God's love and grace. Or our ability to serve others, I work primarily in a customer service profession and there is no greater joy than to lifts someone's spirts by simply treating them kindly, being friendly, and smiling, something that we should do all the time, but unfortunately we don't. My middle child has the gift of compassion. She feels the pain of even the pesky fly that has been swatted, in her eyes there is no well, he got what he deserved , her though process leads her to believe that everyone & everything deserves to be treated fairly, no matter how they have treated her or what wrongs they have done. What an amazing talent this is! Romans 12:6-8 tells us that no matter what talents we are given, we are to use them to our greatest ability to glorify him, not ourselves. When I couldn't sing or speak I learned that I have been given many other gifts to use, many other talents God has given me to lift His name. I began writing, in fact the first blog I wrote was during that time, I began to be more aware of my actions and how I witnessed though how I treated people.
6In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.7If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.8If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12, NLT)
Awhile back I was able to sit at a table with a football player named Jared Abbrederis, he plays for the Green Bay Packers. I sat with him for a few hours as he signed autographs. In every autograph he signed he followed his name with Josh 1:9 . ('9This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For theLordyour God is with you wherever you go. ) I asked him how this came about, he told me he grew up in a very faith filled home, and was actually home schooled until high school. He attended public school during his high school years so he could play football. Every high school game, him and a few other players would start the game with a different bible verse, if I remember correctly they actually wrote it on their arm before the game. I remember being truly moved by his actions. Not often enough do we see celebrities use their talents to glorify God. I said a little prayer that wherever Jared's career led him, that he would always hold strong to his faith.
As I live my life, every single day, I want to use the gifts and talents God has given to me to witness to others. To show those around me the joy that my relationship with Christ has brought to my life. And like as quote says, I want to make God proud, I want to use EVERYTHING He gave me to glorify Him, to hopefully bring others to Him.