Wednesday, December 04, 2013


One who is efficient in a field(s) can be said to be gifted and/or talented.  While I don't usually wish to split hairs over many matters, this is one that might be worth the tediosity.

Being gifted by God and possessing talents for God are different; I believe importantly so.  A gifted person seems to excel in a skill(s) without concentration, effort, or even practice.  A talented individual may seem to possess gifts; yet he or she had to concentrate, focus, and repeatedly practice.

I am gifted with a sense of humor.  I see comical or funny things without looking for them.  Humor is all over my world.  I have a bit of a talent for speaking; but I am not gifted.  I have some talent to write; but that, too, is not a gift.

In both speaking and writing it has taken me years of effort, practice, failure, and overall development to the extent I am still learning every day.

You didn't hit this post to learn about me; but I need to use myself as an example for clarity's sake.

Here's what I want you to get.  The church-at-large is handcuffed by dear members who refuse to assert themselves in ministry.  Their excuse is consistently, I'm just not gifted.  This statement is pregnant with deceit.

I am not gifted in teaching one-on-one Bible studies to seekers.  When the first opportunities to do so came along--as the preacher--I refused to go.  Studies had been requested; but I didn't show.  I was afraid.  As badly as I wanted to succeed, I just could not do it.  I was a mess.

Later God taught me through failure and much misery to eventually become a good teacher at many kitchen tables.

I'm just not gifted is a lazy, thoughtless, and faithless cop-out.  My estimation is that the most of the ministries I note by our many servant hearts in our churches are works that good people had to learn as they went.  Some surely are gifted with compassion; while others of us learn to become compassionate by standing with the pained and lonely as we struggle just to stand there.

I'm just not gifted has no bearing as to whether one is to be engaged.  It isn't the easiest thing to do when called by God to think upon the lovely and the excellent and the worthy of praise.  That's why Paul insisted we practice these things; Philippians 4:4-9.

I'm just not gifted is a costly church cop-out.  Many very good cooks didn't start their married lives that way. Many athletes didn't enter locker rooms with exceptional talent in the beginning.  Terrific negotiators probably were found to fumble and suffer setbacks.  But these repeated their efforts; honed their skill sets.

If we could toss out the cop-out excuse, we would find the church mobilized in ways this culture has yet to experience.  If you are gifted; share.  If you are not gifted, then practice.  You eventually will have something to share.

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