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Thursday, August 21, 2014

What is your gift?

The question of personal or spiritual gifts or talents is often confusing.
Folks often want to understand more about the gifts they might have and how
to use them. Perhaps more important to some is the question of "what will be
expected of me if I discover my gift or talent?"

One of my favorite sources of illustrations is the comic strip Calvin and
Hobbes. In one of the strips, Calvin is talking to Susie (remember, his arch
enemy) about a test they had just taken.

Calvin asked her: "What grade did you get?" Susie says, "I got an A." Calvin
replies, "Really? Boy, I'd hate to be you. I got a C." Curious, Susie asks,
"Why on earth would you rather get a C than an A?!" Too which Calvin smugly
replies "I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep everyone's
expectations."

Some of you may be afraid to do too much, afraid that people (or even God)
will expect more than you are currently doing. You're right, people may, but
God already knows what you are capable of; you can't hide it from him like
you can other people.

I guess through the years since the beginning that's been a constant
problem. Far too often people want to do only what they have to do, not what
they are capable of doing.

I remember many years ago some of our family visited my Grandmother Lawson.
When you went to grandma's you were put to work. She took my cousin Kenny
and me out to their huge garden and told us, "You boys pick beans until you
fill up this bushel basket." Now we were probably only around 12 years old
and not much interested in picking green beans. We came up with a plan to
fill bushel basket faster. We took the time to stack each bean in the basket
so that it leaned on another bean, yet left a lot of empty space. Now
looking back I see that we probably spent more time stacking beans than if
we had used the time to pick the beans in the first place. But as I said, we
were only 12 years old; wisdom wasn't our strong suit at that time.

I've seen other folks who spend more time avoiding work than doing it. They
generally live miserable or at least unhappy and unfulfilled lives. God has
given us so much in this life. He has granted us the right to have eternal
life after this one on earth ends. Could it be that just maybe we need to
look at what we can do instead of how not to do it?

In Luke 12:48b Jesus tells us, "From everyone who has been given much, much
will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much
more will be required." Personally, I think he still means what he says, how
about you?

Russ Lawson

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