What does it mean to steward the talents that God has given us? Is it enough to acknowledge that we have them and move on? Probably not. God has given us these talents for a reason – He has a purpose to be accomplished.
If someone asked me what my talents are, I would rattle off a list of the things that I do well and that I enjoy doing. These are hobbies, and perhaps even gifts, but are they really my God-given talents? Sometimes the talents that God gives us aren’t immediately evident. Sometimes our talents might be something that we struggle with, that we have to work at and cultivate before we can succeed at it.
That was the case for Lisa with our book, Coincidence or God-Incidence? You Decide. God gave Lisa the idea for the book long before she had the courage to act on it. For years, she struggled and wrestled with the idea that God wanted her to write a book. She is a nurse that definitely did not enjoy her English and Composition classes. It wasn’t until Lisa heard our pastor say, “God calls the unqualified. You have to listen. Are you listening to what God is calling you to do with talents that are still hidden inside of you?” After hearing that message, she decided it was time to act on the crazy idea that God had planted in her. But it wasn’t easy. Becoming an author was a long journey full of challenges, discouragements, and downright difficult days. Some days she even questioned if this was really the talent that God wanted her to nurture.
Then God brought me and Lisa together. I have an undergraduate degree in English, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Words – and writing, specifically – are my forte. When Lisa asked me if I wanted to help her write this book, I was working on a book of my own. I was stewarding my talents, but not where God wanted me to use them. Lisa’s book was where God wanted me to be using them.
Throughout the journey of writing this book together, we have faced some very blessed times. The stories poured in, the writing and editing came easy, and Lisa and I made a great team. But there were also times where we struggled, where we felt like we weren’t on the right path, and even times when our relationship was strained. But with patience, a lot of prayer, and a few “crucial conversations,” Lisa and I were able to discern God’s guiding hand, come together with our talents, and glorify Him with our writing. On the hardest days, we focused on the three things that we prayed for this book, our mission statement of sorts – Share the stories. Preserve the stories. Watch as God changes hearts.
Stewarding our God-given talents takes time and a lot of hard work. Using our talents is not always easy, but we have learned that it’s the challenges that help us to grow and develop. The challenges make us stronger, and help us mature in our talent. And we continually ask ourselves the question, “If we don’t use our talents, what is the world missing out on? Am I fulfilling what God has called me to do?”
You’ve been given your talents so that you can accomplish a purpose. What talents has God blessed you with? Are you stewarding them well?