2 Corinthians 3:3-5
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”
“You have talent…I don’t…”
“You should be doing this…I shouldn’t…”
“You deserve to have this position…I can’t handle it.”
Have these phrases ever come from your mouth? If you’re at all like I am, you’ve found yourself saying these things more than one time to a friend, or a co-worker, or a fellow minister or volunteer in your church. Sometimes, of course, it’s entirely valid for us to plead inability and step back from being involved with an opportunity. For instance, if anyone was ever foolish enough to offer me a position as their personal financial planner, I would be utterly justified in not only claiming my own inability to do so but also running screaming out of the room in horror. Words and cooking I am ok with. Financial strategy, not so much.
But how many times, when we’ve used these phrases, have we been selling ourselves short? How many times have our refusals and our instincts to slowly back away been based not on an actual deficit of talent, but on our lack of confidence in our ability to excel?
Today I had the privilege of participating in leading worship for the AGTS chapel service. Now, I am entirely aware that my voice is not the best in the world. I know that I will never be asked to sing a solo concert in Carnegie Hall, and that my voice is better suited to a church scenario rather than a pop recording studio. In fact, I used to think my voice wasn’t good enough to be used at all. When I was younger I was convinced that because I wasn’t as good as the other vocalists around me, I shouldn’t be singing, period. But one day as I prayed, I realized something: The fact that God did not give me the best voice in the world does not mean He couldn’t use my voice in the best way possible – to bring glory to Himself.
When we refuse opportunities because of our own insecurity, we make our talents small in our own eyes and the eyes of others. But in God’s eyes, the only small talents are the ones we are not using. To God, every talent that is being used to bring glory to Him is huge.
The choice to lay our insecurity on the altar before him and offer up our talents like sweet incense is often painful and fills us with fear. We hesitate to be so apparently vulnerable. But the fact is, we shouldn’t think of this kind of sacrifice as a fearful thing. Instead of viewing it as a laying-down, we really should see it as a taking-up. Of what? Of that confidence we have been given through Christ! Laying down the “I can’t do this” mentality means taking up the “Through Him alone I can do this” perspective instead. Our talents and gifts may seem small in our eyes, but when they are infused with the confidence that comes through trusting in Christ, they undergo a transformation.
The bottom line is this: whether your talent seems ‘large’ or ‘small’, God has given it to you for a reason, and He wants to work through you to minister to the people around you in this lost world.
He wants to use your talents, large or small, to bring Himself glory.
And there is nothing small about bringing glory to God. Nothing at all.