My niece is going to have her first birthday in about 2 weeks, and although I’ve only seen her in limited time because I’ve always been at school, its still amazing everytime I’m around her. Being my first niece, you realize alot of things that you never noticed before. One thing that surprises me is how much she eats…there are times that she blows us all away because she finishes so much food. For someone so small and so young you’d think that she wouldn’t be able to handle that much. But she never eats more than she can handle. She wouldn’t be able to finish a serving that I would normally take, nor would I be satisfied by having her normal serving either.
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Many times we look at our gifts and talents in comparison to others, and then rank how much we have, or how great our abilities are. We tend to think our ability to do something amazing is based on how good we are, or how close to God we are. We fall into a false mentality of the more “good” gifts that you receive, the better person you are.
Above everything, we need to realize that we really don’t have any good talents or abilities on our own. At the root of it all, we are sinners and deserve death, but by the grace of God He has given us the chance to have eternal life by trusting and believing in Christ and the cross. In addition to that, any talent, any gift, any ability, and anything else that we might have is a gift from God. And according to God, we are given these things according to the portions that He sees fit for us.
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others…sometimes we can get very proud of ourselves because we’re doing “so much more” than other people, and then at other times we might get extremely discouraged because we don’t feel like we match up in talent to anyone else. But if we keep our eyes fixed on the big picture, on the kingdom perspective, we know that everything we have is for a great purpose. Christ did not give us gifts and talents according to what we have done, but according to what He felt our portion was. What rule book are we reading that says He is supposed to give us a certain amount of everything?
The amount of talent we have in any area is for a specific purpose. Sometimes, God holds back on giving us a greater portion of something because we aren’t ready to handle it. My sister wouldn’t stuff a full pizza down Alexis’ throat because she knows that its too much for her to handle at the present time. I, on the other hand, would be able to finish that whole pizza (if I truly was hungry). Does this mean that I’m any greater than Alexis when it comes to pizza? Should she be discouraged because she can’t eat as much as me? Should I be proud because I can eat so much more than her? No. We both are eating enough to be satisfied. Alexis gets the perfect amount for her, and she finishes every bit of it. If we are given too much at first, we might feel really prideful thinking that we are something great. Or we might not be able to handle such responsibility until we are more mature or older.
Other times, God holds back giving us a greater portion because the need isn’t really there. If I were building a house, I would need people who know construction to help me out. But, what if 2,000 people who knew about construction showed up? It’d cause a greater problem to try to deal with all of them than dealing with only a handful. Sometimes, the current conditions only ask for a limited amount of resources, and too much manpower can cause problems when there isn’t a need.
The trick is not finding the amazing talents and trying to be awesome at it. It’s not getting your name out there and doing everything possible. The important thing is to realize that talents that have been given to you, understand the portion that you have, and recognize that area that is asked to be used. We need to be wise in realizing our abilities, and recognizing that our limited abilities in some areas might be because we are supposed to be working elsewhere, and our greater strengths are to be used to the fullest. It’s tough to serve the Lord fully when you don’t know what abilities He has given you. It’s tough when you don’t know where he wants you to use your abilities either. But when you realize that you’ve been given the perfect amount of everything you have for the job you are asked to do, you’ll get some amazing things accomplished for the glory of God. No doubt…no questions asked. Just be used.