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Using Your Talents Wisely Starts with the Right Perspective

Posted by Jeremy DeYoung on

We've all heard the statement "you can do anything you put your mind to". And most likely, we have at some point in life believed in this idea or even passed it along to others. The fundamental flaw in this statement is that the concept is ultimately self-centered.

For most of my life, I fell into the trap of believing in my own ability to produce results and that I should be self-sufficient. I felt that my accomplishments were my own doing and that I was the captain of my own ship. Eventually, this perspective led me down the path of thinking I could control everything on my own with no thought of God's place in my life.

I went to church occassionally and even prayed a little here and there, but I had no real relationship with Him. I thought that since I was in charge of most things, that I didn't really need God in those areas. I was thinking, "I can do this on my own", "I can fix this on my own", "I can stop this bad behavior on my own", "I can make decsions about job, house, and car on my own". All of this thinking eventually led me to a dark place of wandering in the wilderness of my ability to "do it myself". I had gone from feeling on top of the world to feeling utterly lost.

As time wore on, I found that God was providing me with moments of clarity that were helping me to wake from my dream of self-reliance. I would have periods where my church attendance would grow and my prayer life would improve, even times where I started to meet with other Christians in my life, but eventually it would fizzle out. The fizzling out always came, because even though, I was "waking up", I was still trying to do everything on my own power.

As I saw my failures mounting, I started to earnestly seek God and through much prayer, He opened my eyes to an amazing truth. I need Him in everything, because everything I have belongs to Him and He knows best how to handle it all. He is the author and finisher of my faith, He knows the number of hairs on my head, all I have I belongs to Him. Who better to rely on for guidance? I had certainly seen that relying on myself was a practice in futility. He made me unique and provided me with unique talents, which I had spent most of my life either using for my own gain or squandering them.

Now, after all I have been through, I see that everything I have was given to me by a loving God who wants the best for me. This isn't to discount my part in all this, because I am a participant. This truth is about perspective and motivation to put forth effort and action to be a good steward of what I've been entrusted with. We have a partnership with God where He is the head, the Lord of our lives, and we are made to glorify Him through following His will for our lives. The best use our talents is achieved when we seek to have them align with God's purpose. We should all strive to "do all things through Christ who strengthens" us, not "anything we put our minds to".

So, as we continue Project 3T, I challenge each of you to ask yourself, "how am I using the talents that God has entrusted me with?" and then commit to letting Him guide you through His power.

 

-Jeremy DeYoung
Jeremy is our Adult Education Intern, he's usually serving in the
Connection Center on Sunday mornings.
Read more about him...