Monday, May 23, 2011

Sitting on Talents

This blog post might reflect back to a prior blog I wrote entitled “Complacency & Talents"; however, I want to focus this specifically on those who are sitting on talents because of pressure around you. Sometimes the church you attend, your family, your place of employment can cause you to sit on the talents that have been bestowed upon you.

There will be little minds around you (even in your church, etc.) that will tell you that you’re not gifted in this or that because they’re not doing anything except complaining that they can’t get ahead. The local church can be a hindrance to your true talents due to politics and favoritism. Don’t kick too hard against the local church, and don’t try to change it; however, don’t let the collective talents bury your individual talents. Also keep this in mind, I’m not saying that every church has a selfish motive (and there are some good churches in your respective areas).

I also need to be a bit sensitive when I talk about this: When you deal with churches, sometimes individual talents are sacrificed for the church's agenda (and it comes from leadership). Some leaders will say that your talents are to be used ONLY for the local church and its mission (the question I would raise is: who else other than the church is going to reap the benefits)? When a leader says that, then people will sit on their talents, become complacent, individual talents are buried and the end result is not only does the local church miss out, the body of Christ at large and the world misses out. Local churches should be able to back those who have individual talents (especially when it's part of God's agenda - where it ministers to the local church and to the body of Christ at large). What I see that's very common is that churches back up those who have talents that benefit the leadership of the church or makes the image of the church look good (or they can only glorify the talents of the leadership). Some leaders might be aware and some may not be aware that everyone has gifts and talents for the local church and for the body of Christ at large. This is where people need to know the Lord and the Word for themselves, stay in constant prayer (and fast if necessary). Now here's the other side, some people in the congregation will intentionally sit on their talents for selfish reasons (or they aren't seeing instant gratification). They want all the glory for themselves and want those around, inside and outside the church as a whole, to recognize them.

A little side note: I deal with churches that are selfish a little bit in my third poetry book (on the verge of release). I made up a fictional church where the pastor is controlling, he feels the talents belong to the church, he supports alternative lifestyles, and because the congregation is so naive, they sit and their talents go to a total waste.

I mentioned little minds earlier, let’s deal with them specifically. Some of those little minds can be your family & friends, but because you chose to fulfill your talents, they are now jealous. But they’re rejoicing when you’re not fulfilling your talents because they love the company. Misery loves company. If you fall for that feeling, your sitting on your talents and you’ll give an account for that. Here’s the other side of that: people around you are fulfilling their talents and you’re jealous, griping and complaining. I ask you, why aren’t you fulfilling your talents? There’s a saying that goes (the scripture reference being 1 Corinthians 15:33): you show me your friends and I’ll tell you what you think of yourself and what you’re capable of accomplishing. If you hang with people who are complacent and complain, you’ll be one of those people. If you hang with people who want to change the world and fulfill their talents, you’ll be motivated to do the same (hopefully that's the case, unless the root of complacency is planted deep into your spirit). If you hang with people who sit on their talents because you're allowing other people are controlling them, you will be miserable and complain why others are succeeding and you aren’t. You might need to change your friends (not kick them to curb, or maybe you might have to), but you don’t have to let their actions and especially words deter you from where you’re going - this sentence is mandatory if you really want to fulfill your talents.

Don’t be discouraged, because you have a lot to offer to someone. Here’s the other side of the coin. Sometimes churches and families will thrust you into roles that you know are not your calling. The reason why that sometimes happens is because the church or family is just selfish and looking out for themselves. Example, a single mother has multiple children and thrusts them all into athletics with the belief that at least one of them will go pro and I’ll let them take care of me. I’ll be able to live the rich & famous life.

Now many people are saying, “You’re advocating people should start a business, but not everybody should start a business.” I agree with that, if that’s not your calling, then don’t start one. Don’t let your job overshadow your talent. Some people will use that as a crutch (my job is enslaving me and I’m always tired) as to why they’re not putting their talent to use. I believe God gave you a brain to put to use and to not sit and complain. Several months back, I posted this quote on Facebook, if we spent more time working our talents as we do complaining & blaming, we can make a difference in this world. If you don’t fight for your talent, you’ll lose it (as mentioned in one of my prior blogs). I'll say this again (from "Complacency & Talents"), you're an adult, GROW UP & GO FOR IT!

I want to encourage you to not let others dictate what your talents are (especially if you know what they are and not what they say they are). Remember, you will give an account for your individual talents that you don’t utilize. I’d hate to see you forfeit your talent and stay complacent in your comfort zone. A little reflective of the children of Israel where they didn’t want to go to the Promised Land, instead they wanted the complacent life.

In conclusion: I believe the majority sit on their talents because they either want instant gratification or they didn't realize how much work is involved. Once you count the cost as to how much work is involved and make the decision to go for it and put in the work; you will have adversity and trials, but the Lord will sustain you!