You always hear people talking about using your gifts and talents to glorify God, but do you ever feel like you have nothing to offer in this department?
- Am I good enough to be used for God’s glory?
- Do I even have a talent?
- My talent is so common, surely God wouldn’t use me?
- How can my gift be used?
- I am ordinary, can God use me?
Let me encourage you, God has a plan for you and has equipped you with everything you need.
Gifts and talents aren't always something that put us on a stage for all to see. Some of us are in the spotlight admired by thousands, others work quietly behind the scenes, touching hearts in ways they will never know.
Scripture is filled with Bible verses about using your gifts and talents. But always remember that our focus needs to be on God, not on the talent itself. When we focus on our relationship with God, everything else falls into place. Jesus reminds us of this.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
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What does the Bible Say about Gifts and Talents?
We all serve God in different ways. As I mentioned above, some are much more noticeable than others. But, no matter how big or small, God wants us to use these gifts for His glory!
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
I remember when I quit a job I loved to be a stay-at-home mom. Over the next 10 years, we had 5 kids and my life was a blur of diapers, nursing, cleaning messes, chubby cheeks covered in drool, and an incredible lack of sleep.
How could God possibly use me? I felt I had completely lost myself.
Maybe because I am actually sleeping or somewhere along the way God knocked me upside the head, but I see now the way God has provided me a ministry. He has entrusted me with the lives of His children. My ministry is right here, training disciples of Christ.
I remember having a conversation with a friend in which she confided in me that she felt she had no talents and hoped her kids would. Have you been there?
Little did she understand how I relied on her encouragement and her ability to always be there for me. God was using her beautiful heart and she didn’t even know it.
I want us to embrace the idea that a gift or a talent is much more than being a strong athlete or beautiful musician (those are needed too!) and allow God to work in ways we haven’t imagined.
Paul compares the church to a body and how we have many parts that are all needed but each one has a specific job. We are not to covet each other’s talents or gifts nor feel as if ours is less significant, but use what God has given us for His will and purpose.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:12-30)
The Parable of the Talents
Jesus tells us a parable in Matthew 25. He talks about a man who goes away for a period of time. Before leaving, he entrusts 3 of his servants with his money. He gives one man 5 bags of gold, a second man 2 bags of gold, and the third man 1 bag of gold.
The first two servants immediately go out and use the money to make more. The third servant buries his.
After a long time, the man returns and questions his servants. The first two servants proudly show how they had doubled the money entrusted to them. The third servant is afraid because he had buried his. It doesn’t end well as the man calls his servant lazy and casts him into darkness.
This parable is often used to teach about using your money wisely, but I have always seen it as God’s instruction to use what He has given us for His glory. If He has blessed you with money, use it in a way that honors Him.
How can I Use My Talent for God?
So, how can I use my talent for God? Obviously, there are dozens of ways to answer this question. But the first step is to determine what your gifts are. What is something you are really good at or enjoy?
- If He has blessed you with money, use it in a way that honors Him.
- Has He given you the gift of writing? Use it to encourage others in their walk with God.
- Has He given you a beautiful voice? Use it to lead others in worship with their creator.
- Has He given you time? Use it to bless your friends and neighbors.
- Has He given you the gift of hospitality? Use it to host a Bible study in your home (and partner with someone who has the gift of teaching Scripture).
- Has He given you the gift of web design? Offer your expertise to help your church with their website.
- Has He given you the gift of leadership? Use it to lead others to Christ!
God has given all of us at least one gift that He wants us to use for His glory. But too often, we don't realize that it is a gift! We just see it as something we do or like.
Bible Verses about Gifts and Talents
God has indeed blessed each of us and wants us to live a rich and full life. He has given us many different types of gifts and talents so that we can use them to bring more people to knowing Him.
These Bible verses about gifts and talents literally tell us to use every gift to bring glory to the Father!
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
- If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
- We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-8)
- Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. (1 Timothy 4:12-14)
- So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
- Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Use Your Talents to Glorify God
Oh goodness, I’m going to say it one more time! The purpose of your talents is not to bring you attention nor to make you wealthy or successful. We are meant to glorify God in everything we do. This can be picking up spilled cheerios from the floor or running a multi-million dollar business.
One last word. I want you to come away from this post on fire for God and ready to jump in and serve Him with whatever He has blessed you with.
You are special. God created you, He gave you what you need to walk this life and fulfill His plan. You alone can do the work He set aside for you. Do not allow self-doubt, pride, need for attention, or insecurities to block your path. Step over those stumbling blocks into the light. You are a part of the body of Christ, with a specific purpose. Allow God to use you. You will find the fulfillment you seek. You will find your place and bear fruit.
Which of these Bible verses about using your gifts and talents for God resonates with you? What talents did God give you? Are you ready to step out on faith and use them?
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