Gifts and Talents

I read Joshua 3 and 4 today, where Joshua, under God’s guidance, led the Israelites through the Jordan River. The priests carried the ark of the covenant into the river which was in flood. As soon as their feet touched the edge, water from upstream stopped flowing and piled up in a heap a great distance away.

The priests stopped in the middle, still holding the ark, while all the people crossed over in their tribes. Chosen men, one from each tribe, collected twelve stones from the river bed and carried them on their shoulders until they reached Gilgal.

Imagine the strength required of the priests to hold the ark, which was overlaid with gold, for a number of hours while standing still. Imagine the strength required of the twelve men to carry heavy rocks on a long hike. They were presumably chosen for their strength.

Strength is a gift from God, as is leadership, athletic ability, intelligence, entrepreneurial skill, artistic or musical talent, or any other God-given talent.

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John15:5b NIV) The World lauds and rewards human achievement, but none of it is possible without God’s gifting.

My eighty-nine-year-old mother always says, “Use it or lose it,” usually talking about her brain and how she does crossword puzzles to exercise it.

As Jesus illustrated in the parable of the talents, (Matthew 25:14-30,) it is true of all God-given abilities and talents. If a man gifted with unusual strength goes to the gym and exercises regularly, his strength grows. A musician, dancer or actor practices regularly to become better in their field. Those gifted with intelligence study to make the best of their abilities. If they don’t, they are like the servant who buried his talent in the ground and the master took it away from him.

Use it or lose it.

My Prayer

Father God, You are the giver of all gifts and talents and You distribute them as You will. May I neither envy those more talented than myself, nor neglect to exercise or use the gifts You have given me. Amen.

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