Though spiritual gifts and natural talents are two different things, I’m not so sure distinguishing between the two is always necessary. They both fall into the category of God-given abilities. God is the source of everything good in our lives (James 1:17), including those abilities that can benefit others.
What you are good at is a gift from God. Sometimes people bury a gift because too much effort is required to develop it. In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus makes it very clear that to bury something of value that has been entrusted to you to use is a serious failing. Jesus said, “To whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48, NKJV). One doesn’t eliminate responsibility by ignoring one’s talent.
Sometimes God uses a pastor, friend or spiritual mentor to draw these abilities to the surface. Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, said of his sculpting, “The statues are already in the rock. I just need to bring them out.”
Perhaps we need more spiritual sculptors. I like this definition of leadership: “The ability to recognize the special abilities and limitations of others, combined with the capacity to fit each one into the job where he will do best.”
My, how our churches would prosper if we did more of that.
Society usually calls attention to disabilities. God is interested in our using the abilities He has given us. When you’re doing what God has called you to do, it doesn’t matter what you can’t do. I like the way Dennis Hatfield put it: “We lack nothing for the purpose to which Christ has called us.”
Editor’s note: As this issue goes to press, our nation is reeling from the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. What better time to trust God, push beyond every barrier and help those in need.
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