Often when I watch the various TV awards, I hear athletes and entertainers thank God for winning an award in their specialized fields. It is good to thank God for our natural talent and I am not taking anything away from that but are we glorifying God or ourselves? Sometimes we can get confused about our talent and the purpose it serves. Our purpose is to serve God since we are His creation.
It is important to know the difference between a talent and a spiritual gift, and knowing if we are using our talents or spiritual gifts to glorify God.
I want to get right down to it: the distinction between a talent and a spiritual gift.
1) A talent is the result of genetics and/or training, while a spiritual gift is the result of the power of the Holy Spirit.
2) A talent can be possessed by anyone, Christian or non-Christian, while spiritual gifts are only possessed by Christians.
3) While both talents and spiritual gifts should be used for God's glory and to minister to others, spiritual gifts are focused on these tasks, while talents can be used entirely for non-spiritual purposes.
Both are gifts from God. Both grow in effectiveness with use. Both are intended to be used on behalf of others, not for selfish purposes.
1 Corinthians 12:7 states that spiritual gifts are given to benefit others and not ourselves. Spiritual gifts are given to all believers by the Holy spirit at the time they place their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. At that moment, the Holy 'spirit gives to the new believer the spiritual gift(s) He desires the believer to have.
What are some of the spiritual gifts? They are as follows: prophecy, serving others (in a general sense), teaching, exhorting, generosity, leadership, and showing mercy.
While one may develop his talents and later direct his profession or hobby, along these lines, spiritual gifts were given by the Holy Spirit for the building up of Christ's church. In fact, all Christians have an an active role in the furtherance of the gospel of Christ. Our spiritual gifts are used to glorify God and not ourselves.
All are called and equipped to be involved in the "work of the ministry." All are gifted so that they can contribute to the cause of Christ out of gratitude for all He has done for them. In doing so, they also find fulfillment in life through their labor for Christ.
It is the job of church leaders to help build up the saints so they can be further equipped for the ministry to which God has called them. Ephesians 4:10-12 speaks of God giving to His church apostles, prophets, evangelist, and pastor-teachers.
Again, our talent, time, and tithes are to be used to glorify God and to help build up the body Christ. God knew us before we were born and He knew exactly how he planned to use each and every one of us to serve His purposes and His plan.
Thought for Today: Realize that you were made for God.