Generosity of Talent
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”-Ephesians 2:10
Our church is chalk-full of talented people. Every Christmas I give thanks to God for Gerry Patten’s ability to transform a room, his way of turning our sanctuary into a special place to celebrate the birth of our Savior. A couple weeks ago Dave said to me, as he was picking up a cute little craft Simon had made in Sunday school, “Lindsey is a such a good Sunday school teacher. She always has the kids do fun things.” During worship a few weeks ago, I was moved to tears by the choir’s performance of “Be Thou My Vision”. I could go on and on describing, and giving thanks for, the various talents of the people in this church family. The truth is though (thanks be to God!) every congregation is full of talented people. In fact, every neighborhood, every school, every workplace is full of talented people. God does not create untalented people! We are all “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Does this feel true to you? Are you able to see in yourself and in others the unique abilities God gifted to you and to them? Hopefully you are!
Some of us though, are not sure just what “good work” God has created us to do. If you are not yet able to identify your God-given talents take a little time right now to explore what they might be. What are you happiest doing? What are you good at? How do these things intersect with the needs of your family, friends, neighbors, church, community, and the world? Maybe you cannot draw very well but you feel relaxed and satisfied when you are cleaning. Maybe you feel you would not be good at teaching Sunday school, but you do love to sit down and write letters to friends and family members. Is God able to use the satisfaction you get from cleaning and your ability to write thoughtful letters to build up His Kingdom? Absolutely He is! He created you that way. And, He desires for you to use those talents to do “good works”. You could bless an unwell neighbor by taking an afternoon to vacuum, dust and wash windows for her. Perhaps, also, you could use your letter-writing skills to encourage a man or woman in jail who feels forsaken, or a refugee child who feels hopeless (If you would like to do either of these Google “Christian Pen Pals” or “Any Refugee”).
We are all God’s handiwork, created with special abilities and talents. We are all called to use those talents to grow the Kingdom of God. We need only open our minds to our innate abilities, and our eyes to the places in our homes, church, schools, workplaces, community, country, and the world where these abilities can glorify God and heal the broken places in His world.
O Lord, thank you for creating me exactly as you have. Thank you for the special abilities you have granted me. Please give me wisdom to see where I can use these talents for Your purposes, move me to action, and fill me with joy in doing Your work in the way that only I can. Amen.
Now Go and Do: Sit quietly with God for a few minutes. Meditate on the talents and abilities He created you with. Consider how you could use those talents to bless a person or a community. Commit to doing one Kingdom building thing with your talents this week (bake your famous apple pie for a new Mom in the neighborhood, inquire with the county about getting a foster care license so that you can provide respite care to foster families in the area, volunteer to take photos for a local non-profit, etc.).
Love, Your Generosity Project Team (Adrienne Danielson, Deb Hess, Shari Fuhr and Marlys Mathiowetz)