Each of us has unique talents

Have you ever looked at a talented friend and felt almost envious? Maybe you thought something like "There's nothing special about me. Look how talented Jane is! I'll never speak or sing as well as she does." Maybe you've even compared past mistakes. Maybe you've thought, "I've made too many mistakes in my life. I've done too many things wrong. God can't use me." Or maybe you've done the reverse and felt you were somehow better because you hadn't made as many mistakes as a friend had.

In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul uses the analogy of a body to explain why such comparisons are futile. After listing some of the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit can give, he explained, "For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you."

Each of us has unique talents, gifts and abilities made especially for us. We need not compare and think ourselves better or worse than another individual. Our Heavenly Father has given us what we need for our circumstances. He knows what challenges we've faced or will face. He has given us those gifts that will best enable us to serve His kingdom and to become the person He knows we can be. Some of us work well with youth, others with small children, yet others with adults. Others work well with inanimate objects such as crafts, computers or cars. Whatever the gift you've been given, seek out ways that you can magnify it to better serve the Lord. Ask Him to show you how you can best devote your time, talents and abilities to serve others and reflect His image in your life.

Are you waiting to be asked by others to serve. Our Heavenly Father appreciates a willing servant who takes the initiative to love and lift others. Remember the parable of the talents? (Matthew 25) One servant was given 5 talents, another servant 2 and another 1. The person with 5 talents worked to double his to 10, the servant with 2 doubled his to 4, but the person with only 1 talent was afraid and buried his talent in the earth. When their lord came to make an accounting, he praised those who had magnified what they had been given and rebuked the fearful servant who buried his talent. The lord took his one talent away and gave it to the person with 10.
Take stock of your talents. Don't minimize them. Don't belittle or bury them. Don't say, oh, I'm just a kidney, I'd rather be a mouth. Or I'm just a big toe; I'd rather be an eye. And of course, don't get proud and say, "Look at me. I'm a hand; look at that old toe over there." We're all needed. We're all important. And it is from the small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. Thank the Lord for the gifts you've been given, use them to the best of your abilities and God can do great things through you – even if you never see the full ramifications of your efforts in this life

Each gift reacts differently when given to each individual. For example, everyone is invited to sing in church – no matter how polished his or her voice may be. We can all raise our voices in song and praise our God, but some people have the gift for making the melody sweet such that it stirs our souls.
Similarly, "no man (or woman) can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3), but some people have the ability to testify of Him in such a way that we feel the Spirit bear witness that what is being said is the truth. The gift of healing may come to one person and enable her to be a great physician. With another person the gift of healing may enable her to have a calming effect on those who are troubled emotionally or mentally. She may have the gift to lift spirits and heal minds and hearts.

The real power comes when we each use our unique talents and work symbiotically with others to build the kingdom. For example, if you want to play a game of basketball, you've got to use your hands, feet, legs, eyes, arms, etc. One member of the body can't play basketball by itself. If we want to build the Lord's kingdom, we've got to stop bickering and comparing, and start working together. It's time we started building each other up so that we can each be the best we can be. Building God's kingdom is a team effort, and that means each of us needs to be doing our best and cheering on our teammates.
Until we meet again. I challenge you to assess your own talents and abilities, and then look for ways you can love and lift others. For Jesus said, Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40) the message 

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