For those who love “America’s Got Talent” and its many spinoffs, the word “talent” is all about performance.
We struggle emotionally along with the young people who aren’t able to achieve the stardom they seek. We are gobsmacked when frowzy middle-aged Susan Boyle dares to state her ambition to be a great singer — then backs it up with a great voice that has been hidden underneath a bushel at her neighborhood pub. But still, talent is for the stage.
The rest of us … we feel more like chopped liver. Chopped liver makes a good party pate, but it’s nothing to look at. And it’s definitely an acquired taste. Not something that cheering crowds are going to celebrate. We set ourselves on the sidelines with one of three excuses:
Excuse Number 1: “I don’t have any talents.”
As long as a person thinks “talents” are for stage or church platform performance, the odds are he will think he doesn’t have any.
Of course, when God lists the “talents” (spiritual gifts) that his Body uses to do his work, hardly any of them are upfront activities and everything that can be done upfront may also be done behind the scenes:
TALENTS USED ‘BEHIND THE SCENES’
Excuse Number 2: “My talents are so small …”
The person who diminishes their own talents thinks it’s better to let “the people who have more talent do the job, because after all, they can do a better job than I can.”
What that person may be missing, unfortunately, is the God’s-eye view of what God intends for the “people who have more talent.” Perhaps by sitting back, the person who thinks she is “promoting” the “best” person for one job is actually holding them back from the work God has prepared them to do. She is also holding herself back from the work God has prepared her to do.
Excuse Number 3: “I can’t figure out which talent God wants me to use.”
Young people are seriously overwhelmed in this regard. We have given them so many opportunities to explore their interests that they find themselves unable to focus. “I’ve got so many talents,” they think. “I’ll just wait until God makes it clear what talent God wants me to use.”
Ephesians 2:10 is the first part of the answer. If the work is in front of you and requires a talent you have, it requires the talent God wants you to use. The second part of the answer comes from a late pastor of ours, Joel Sarver:
“God can’t steer a parked car.”
Start moving and God will be able to direct you.
Finally: If God provides liver, go for it!
Finally, if the talent God gives is that of a liver, celebrate it. That’s God’s gift to you and that’s the gift you are to the community of faith.
That’s how Douglas, Georgia does it. They host what must be the nation’s only Chicken Liver and Gizzards Festival. Liver is their talent and liver is what they celebrate. And as everyone knows, the liver is crucial for cleaning the blood, digesting food, and producing energy.
Love your talent and live your talent.
America’s Got Talent. You’ve got talent. Use your talent. You will make God look good and help God’s people work together the way God intended us to.
What talent are you having trouble allowing yourself to use?