Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, December 3, 2011


God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well Romans 12:6a (TLB)

      There was only one more week before the Pupperville Church’s annual talent show and the puppets were very busy getting ready. Bernadette was practicing her piano, Barney was practicing several passages from the Bible he planned to recite, Mindy, Cindy and Stella were practicing a short play, Tracy and her dad were working on a funny skit of their own, Daisy was practicing a new song she wrote, and April was writing a new poem.

     It seemed like everyone was having a good time preparing except for one little boy. “It’s just no use” He kept mumbling to himself, “I’ll never be good at anything. I might as well quit trying.” That little boy was none other than Louie Blackwood, the red headed, freckle faced orphan boy who lives with the Smith’s.

     “Why aren’t you practicing for the talent show?” some one asked him as he was sitting in the nursery, staring off into space. It was Harold and Stella’s grandpa, who had come to pick his grand kids up from practice. “I’m not going to be in the show.” Louie told him “I’m just no good at anything so I’m not even going to try.”

     “No good at anything?” Robert had to ask Louie, “Are you sure God didn’t give you any special talents or abilities?” “No.” replied Louie, “I think He missed me. I’ve often wished I could be like Barney or Bernadette, or Daisy or even Randy, but I’m not. I’m just plain old Louie. No talent, No abilities, No nothing.”

     “Now, that’s just not true.” Robert tried to reassure him, “God gives all of us special talents to share with others.” “Not me.” Louie complained, “I don’t have any talents and every time I try to do something it turns into a big failure.”

     “Just because you don’t not know what your talents and abilities are now,” Robert said as he continued to try and encourage Louie, “Doesn’t mean you should give up trying to find out what they are. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. We are created to do good things, but sometimes it takes time to figure what it is we have been created to do.”

     “Maybe I can be like Harold.” Louie said as if he wasn’t listening to Robert. “No, I don’t’ think that would be a good idea.” Robert quickly replied “Why not?” Louie quipped in return, “At least he’s good at getting in to trouble. I think I’ll go and find him.”

     Well, it took some time, but eventually, Louie did find one of his talents, but that’s another story.

     How many of you have ever felt like Louie? In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus gives us the parable of the talents. Starting in verse 14 we read - For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. "In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. (NAS) The story goes on to tell how the three servants had to give an account of what they did and how the master treated each one accordingly with the third servant losing all he had and be cast out.

     Many years ago I did a twist on this parable substituting talents for talents. The talents in Jesus' parable were sums of money – I switched it for abilities and handed out to my listeners papers with various abilities on them and when the story was done they turned their paper over to see what they did with their talents. While I no longer remember everything I wrote down, I do remember that the one who had one talent was given the abilities to listen and all he did was sit in front of a television listening to sitcoms while the others used theirs talents for the good of others.

     The Bible reminds us more than once that our God is a God that gives. Two such reminders are:
  • Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (ESV)
  • Romans 8:32 Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? (NLT)
     Amongst the things that God gives us are abilities and talents. When you look yourself and those around you, you may notice how somethings come so easy to some people and to others they will always be hard. Some people are talented speakers while others stutter to no end if they even get that far. Of course the list could go on and on. When it comes to our abilities and talents the Bbile has more to say.
  • Romans 12:6 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. (NLT)
  • 1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God's many kinds of blessings. (TLB)
     Some of us know what the talents are the God has give us, some of us are still learning, some of us need to remember that are talents are to be used. James 4:17 reminds us it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • What are the talents or abilities God has given you?
  • Are you using them as God would have you use them?

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