Monday, April 4, 2011

Get That Shovel Away From Your Talents

Talent.

Long ago, a talent meant a unit of weight. Later, a talent constituted a group of coins worth more than a thousand dollars. Today, talent means ability.

Let’s get to the story.

Matthew 25:14-30

A master gave talents to three different servants, the cold, hard, moolah-kind-of-talents.

The first two servants doubled their talents and wisely invested what their master gave them. However, the third servant threw his talent in the ground and buried it.

Dig, dig, dig.

Plop.

Cover, cover, cover.

When the master returned, he celebrated the two servants who used their talents to create more, and the master gave those two servants wealth and responsibility. Then, the master condemned the third servant who foolishly buried the gift he received, and gave him a shove out the door.

Now, let’s discuss our talents, the ability-kind-of-talents.

You know what I’m talking about, the gifts that make you, well, you.

Are you gifted with people? Finances?

Are you an encourager? A dedicated petitioner of prayers?

Do you build relationships or do you build art?

And now the big question: Do you use the talents God gives you, or are you like that shovel-carrying third servant?

Linking up with the girls at Finding Heaven and Michelle at Graceful.

Image credit.

27 comments:

Jen said...

At first, I was only one of the first 2 servants because I was afraid of God's wrath if I didn't do what He told me to.

Now, I'm one of the first two out of love -- wanting to please Him and bring people to know Him.

Quite the shift of perspective!

Amy Sullivan said...

Jen,
If I were to guess one of your talents, I would say you are a huge encourager. Yes?

Big Fat Mama! said...

This has been on my mind a lot lately. I have slowly finally figured out what the talents God has given me are. Now it's about trusting what God does with it in His timing, instead of what I think He should do with it in my timing!

Katie said...

Amy, the title of this post made me laugh out loud! Very visual. :) Glad you posted this. I can honestly say, I'm using mine! (At least on the art side...) :)

stephanie said...

Love this parable. I read a comentary the other day that also delved into the all or nothing mindset of the third servant...He could not stand the gray area of investing his talents! Might he fail? He was scared to take a risk with the talent God gave him...so he squandered it out of fear.

Laura said...

Dig, dig, dig.

Plop.

Cover, cover, cover.

This sounds way too familiar and I'm covering my ears (no pun). I've been carrying mine in my pocket for a while. Praying for courage to pull them out.

Loved this, Amy!

marlece said...

This is always the question isn't it? ANd, when I'm using my God given talents it feels so good, and when I'm not I'm thinking..."Lord, I'm sorry, USE ME!" (as if I don't know what they are) I want to please, you know?

Michelle said...

I always hope that I'm one of the first two, that I use the talents God gave me and invest them according to His will. I'm not always sure that I do that. But I know when I do how blessed I have been.

Courtney said...

One of my favorite parables, and always a great question. I think I'm using mine . . . trying! This is motivation.

Renee said...

i think i'm like what stephanie said- all or nothing. sometimes (or lots of times!) i try to get my talents "perfect" before using them. want everything to be just right. which takes how long?? oh yeah. eternity. which means i often don't use them at all. got to get comfortable with the gray area and realize God will make it happen and work to His glory no matter how "perfected" i feel.

awesome post!

p.s. - i'm so glad you don't bury your talents :)

Debbie said...

This is an excellent post! I have ADHD and this was soooo easy for me to read and understand. I have extreme difficulty readying long, complicated posts. I really appreciate the simplicity of your site and the laser-like focus! This post draws people to evaluate and take action!

I'm working on using my artwork and writing to edify the church but also draw in non-believers. I'm just loving the interactions I'm having on my blog. I'm in an online class with about 75 women, most of which are not christians, I think there might be 3 of us. Great fun to let it all hang out with them and watch the response!

Nancy said...

It's so easy to be critical of those in the biblical stories without admitting that those stories really are all about me. Burying talents? Yep, you betcha. Years ago, someone pointed out that, not only is it scary to think about failing, it's also scary to imagine we might actually succeed. Because then what might God expect of us?

Carol said...

I love the way you write. I'm going to spend some time thinking about what I'm doing with my talents today.

janicejohnson said...

Love this, Amy. My blogging friends have provided a safe place to start letting those talents see the light of day, at least. Hugs!

Katharine said...

Good questions, and I love the visual... I am not sure I have acually ever sat down and figured out specific talents or gifts, now you have me thinking!
Blessings!

Tiffini said...

always digging and covering...why do we cover our talents? fear? it would seem God wants us to use our talents and when we do...more is given. Pride? why would one not...if it not be about something we have an issue with because the problem isn't God. Boy Amy - seriously. Let's talk about this one more?
love ya:)
xo

Amy Sullivan said...

So, I really, really love coming home from work on Tuesdays, getting the sweet two-year-old in bed, logging-on, and seeing all of these visits. Wish you could all stop by for a real chat!

Yes, I think fear is a big obstacle we face when we try to use our talents. Fear of rejection is huge, but fear of success . . .yikes, that's tough too.

lori said...

This parable has always given me anxiety. I used to hear in church that if you didn't use your talents, God would take them away. I now know that is not true ("For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” - Romans 11:29), and that this whole parable has been misunderstood in some circles.

Having said all of that, I still think we are called to be good stewards of the talents/abilities God has given us. I worry that I'm not doing that well sometimes.

dawnbright said...

I usually walk around with the shovel stuck in my mouth! Thank goodness for grace!

Deidra said...

The dig-plop-cover bit is great! Wonderful image! And yes. I need to put away my shovel!

tcsoko said...

I always feel a bit sorry for the guy who kept his talent safe and didn't speculate - I figure he is like me a bit of a scaredy cat and not risk taker!

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

For the longest time, years, I constantly bemoaned the fact that I didn't have any gifts. I wanted to be a musician or a singer or an artist, and when I saw that I was not gifted in those obvious areas, I assumed I didn't have any gifts at all. A friend encouraged me to start writing, and once I began I couldn't stop. Now I pray that I use that gift to glorify him and help provide sustenance to my fellow travelers.

Nicely done, Amy. And thanks for the link-up!

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Amy,

I could read this most every day, I think.

Dig and cover...plop plop....then I hear GOD saying,"Burying that, are you??"....or, if I'm fearful, "Then do it afraid!"....

Duane Scott said...

I didn't know you blogged! I saw your name around the blogosphere once or twice, but yes! You do blog. And quite well, I must say.

This is funny because my blog posts for today closely mirrors this one. Talking about accepting us for who we are, creating by Him. In Him. For a specific purpose. For Him.

Okay, I'll quit rambling.

I'm glad I bumped onto your site. It's not only beautiful, it carries a lot of depth. :)

Sara said...

Awesome, Awesome post!! I'm trying to use my talents, but sometimes life seems to make it very difficult. As does Facebook. It blocked my blog! Aaargh... technology! :-)

Pamela said...

I love this post! So many times I am tempted to use my shovel on my talents. What is amazing, when I feel like burying them, God puts them in the spotlight to keep me from doing just that.

I am always inspired when I visit your blog.

Joyfully,
Pamela

Lollie said...

Wow, I never thought of that parable as referring to gifts. I always thought it meant money. By the way my giftings are for sure not to do with money eek! But I've been told I'm good with people. I use to lead a drama evangalism team. I took a break when I had baby #4. Then back in when she was 2. 4yrs later #5 came along and I haven't been back. I really miss it though. One day;)

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