<<skill, gift, talent>>

God has given to each person a unique combination of abilities or skills that He expects us to use, to advance His Kingdom. It is up to us to recognise, develop and use them effectively, in humble reliance on His enablement and obedience to His direction. Through study, observing others and lots of practice, we will become proficient. To gain anything of value there is the cost of self-discipline and persistence. There will be mistakes and times of failure but also increasing expertise that will lead to heightened self-worth and usefulness. The way to develop more ability is to utilize what has already been given. Remember we have to give an account to God of how we have handled the resources He has given. Have we used, abused or not used them (Mt 25:14-30)?  Although we may fail, we are not a failure until we refuse to try again.

We are caretakers or stewards of what God has given. Are we using our resources, abilities, time and money wisely or grudgingly, maybe even refusing to serve others? God will use anyone and the abilities we have, but first we must be available and willing to be used. So keep going, in faith with persistence and perseverance. Yes, challenges and hassles will present themselves but overcome these in faith.  Are we willing to let God use what we have? Ability is no use without availability.

Just as in our physical bodies there are a great variety of ‘parts’ that enable us to live properly so it is with Christ’s body (the church). Each person has a necessary function to fulfill for the church to operate as designed (1 Cor 12:12-30). We all have different abilities and functions in the natural as well

He gives us abilities to make Him famous.  How can my abilities contribute to that?

as in the spiritual realms. Discover your gifting and employ it for the good of society and the Kingdom of God. Your contribution is vital for the whole to function successfully. “To whom much is given, much is required” (Lk 12:48). It is our responsibility to use effectively what has been entrusted to us, for the benefit and blessing of others (1 Pet 4:10,11).

God gives various abilities to enable His kingdom to be extended, to build up the Church so it will function correctly (Rom 12:4-8; 1Cor 12:4-11; Eph 4:11-16). Ask for God-given abilities, both natural and spiritual, to glorify Him – not for our own praise (Mt 7:11; 1 Cor 12:31, 14:1-40). Our reliance is not on our ability but accredited to God who gives the resource. 

David, when preparing to fight Goliath, outlined past accomplishments that gave confidence for future victory. He was not fighting for his own reputation or in his own strength but to uphold God’s name (1 Sam 17:32-37,45-47). Am I developing and using the abilities He has given me to advance His Kingdom or my own self-interests? It is God

Its not so much our ability        dependability on God

who gives the ability and He won’t share His glory with others (Deut 8:18; Isa 48:11). Don’t be like Samson, who in arrogance and pride said, “I’ll do as I’ve done before” not knowing God, the one who gave him the strength and enabling, had left him (Jdg 16:20). “It’s not by might or by power but by my Spirit says the Lord” (Zech 4:6). We are only the channel through which He works. Even Christ confessed, “I can of my own self do nothing” (Jn 5:30).

We are not to use these abilities just for our own benefit but rather to impart knowledge to others, and to train up replacements so the good work we do can be multiplied and generally be a blessing to society. The things we put our time and effort into enables us to become knowledgeable, proficient and confident, whether sport, gardening, cooking, preaching or whatever we set our mind to. Ensure your goals are worthy as not everything is beneficial for eternity (Mt 6:18-21; 1 Cor 3:10-15).

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Eccl 9:10; Col 3:23). We work but it is the Lord who provides the increase (1 Cor 3:6,7). In His grace, God permits us to be involved in His plan of bringing people into His Kingdom. Success is due to Him not us (Jdg 7:2).

We should not be envious of the specific ministry or expertise of another. Be the 'best you' that you can with the abilities God has given you. No one is complete in themselves, we need the skill and talents of others to supplement what we provide, just as others need our input.

See also: accountability, available, capability, confidence, giftings, growth, self-esteem, self-improvement, skill, stewardship, talent.