The potential of being used by God is exciting. However, some Christians shy away from this. They think, “I have nothing to offer, God can’t use me.” For these Christians, God’s omnipresence, power, and authority, drowns out any of their own ability to contribute. We don’t measure up to God’s glory.
Even pointing out that there are many humans throughout the Bible who played a great role in God’s plans is met with “But those people were so much better than I.” Maybe they are more holy (Moses), more educated (Nicodemus), more popular and eloquent (David), or stronger and wiser (Samson). Maybe your backstory isn’t as dramatic as Paul’s, or maybe you don’t come from intergenerational faith like Timothy. You’re not the half-brother of the Messiah (James), nor have you baptized Jesus (John). Maybe you’re not the queen of an empire (Esther), or a foreigner in a new land (Ruth). Maybe you are.
You are, though, just as human. Flesh and blood fill you, just as they filled these pillars of the Bible.
Maybe you have a social media platform. Maybe you have friends who aren’t Christians. It’s likely that you have a knack for something that’s unique to you. Perhaps you’re good with words, or good with your hands, or good with helping out when needed. You have a particular amount of influence in spheres of your life that no one else does, whether that be with your family, friends, or work places.
This week I read the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). A talent refers to a measurement of a valuable metal, usually silver or gold. In this parable, a master entrusted his property to his three servants while he would be away for a time, each according to their ability. To one he gave five talents, to another he gave three talents, and to another servant he gave one talent. When the master returned, the servants gave their report of his property. The servant with the five talents used the money to make five more talents, and the servant with three talents made three more talents. But, the servant with one talent buried his talent in the ground to protect it, and made no profit. The master blessed the former two servants, but chastised the third servant, taking away his talent and giving it to the one with ten talents.
God is our master and has given us gifts. Many reduce gifts to material possessions, but a gift can be an ability. Have you been using your talents? That is, have you been using your abilities and possessions for God? Have you been using your merciful heart to show Christ? If you are eloquent, do your words point people to Christ? If you social influence in a diverse group of friends, do you demonstrate Christ’s love to them when you have the chance? Do you use your singing voice for the Lord? Your photography skills?
When I’ve been a passenger in the car and a driver pulls up a little too close to the car ahead of me, my whole body tightens. It’s not on purpose, however, those with me are able to tell. Can those around you tell with even your very breath that you worship the Lord and that your heart is His?
It’s easy to get bogged down by our own imperfection. Maybe you don’t like who you see in the mirror. And yet, as I was reminded this week, many of us sing worship songs like Goodness of God. We utter “With every breath that I am able, I will sing for the goodness of God”. We are declaring that this is what we will do. So, are we doing it? Are you using what you have?