A talent or gift is an innate God-given ability you possess, something you were born with, something you really didn’t need to ‘learn how to do,’ something that distinguishes you and makes you unique in your family and among your friends. A talent is not something learned in school although it may be developed by training and education within the setting of a school. Never confuse the accumulation of degrees with your talent. There are many accomplished and successful people who never acquired degrees but utilised their talent and are making an impact in the marketplace of life. Some people discover their talent early in life, some discover theirs later in life and sadly some people never really discover their talent until the day they exit the earth.
Success in life is the result of a talent, gift or ability that is discovered, cultivated and creatively unleashed in the market place of life. Failure in life comes as a result of not allowing your talent to flourish and have an impact in the marketplace of life. Read my book Talent Power for more information on how to be productive with your talent.
Your talent or gift leads you, no, PULLS you in the direction of your calling in life. Romans 11:29 says ‘For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.’ There is a connection between your innate God-given talent and your assignment in life or what God has called you to do with your life. If the enemy of your soul wants to ensure that you never accomplish your mission in life all he needs to do is distract you from using your talent and sabotage your calling. As long as your talent remains unutilized, you will travel in a self made spiritual wilderness although you may have money and material things. Your assignment will be compromised and you will not accomplish your life’s mission.
So, how do you kill your talent?
Hide your talent
In Matthew 25:14-30, the master distributed talents to his servants. He gave one three, another two and another one. The first two servants went into the marketplace, traded with their talents, multiplied them and when their master returned presented him with the talents they had gained through trading. These two were commended for their sense of thrift, creativity, hard work and wisdom and were richly rewarded. However the third guy buried his talent in the ground and didn’t use it in the marketplace therefore he didn’t earn anything. The master rebuked him and called him lazy and ‘wicked.’ Failure to put your talent to use is wickedness because you are conspiring with the devil to sabotage your own assignment in life.
Many have buried their talent in the ground and have failed to do what God has called them to accomplish with their lives. To be productive and successful in the kingdom you must learn to use your talents at the optimum level. Do the very best you can with the innate abilities God has blessed you with. The more you use your talent the better you become at using it and soon you will become skilful at its use. Using one talent will help you discover another talent or ability you possessed but never knew you did.
Be afraid to use your talent.
The servant who didn’t use his talent, who buried it, who essentially sabotaged his life said that he was afraid that was why he didn’t use his talent. Fear is the enemy of your productivity and your progress in life. There are many fears that paralyse the timid from utilising their talents. They include the fear of failure, the fear of the future, the fear of man, the fear of the unknown and a host of other fears. If you listen to the voice of fear you will never do much with your talent or with your life. Resist the spirit of fear and it will flee from you. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.
Listen to men instead of God.
Some people kill their talent by listening to man instead of God. The only person who knows you, who knows what you are capable of doing, who understands you better than anybody else is God. When you listen to man instead of listening to God you will end up killing your talent. When God wants you to move up to a new level He commands you to do so something new, something different from what you’ve done in the past. When you receive an instruction from God to move in a certain direction in life don’t allow man’s counsel make you disobey that leading. It is only God who knows tomorrow and knows the best use of your talent and abilities. Sometimes God uses the prophetic to show you certain things that were hidden from you, but even then make sure you are fully persuaded in your heart in the place of prayer before you make a move. With every new instruction comes a new set of challenges. Unless you are persuaded that God wants you to do something you may give up easily when you are confronted with challenges.
Stay under wrong leadership.
People are naturally self centred and selfish, no matter how enlightened or spiritual they may look like. People think about themselves before they think about you. They plan for themselves before they pan for you. It takes a certain work of grace by the Lord in the heart of a man for him to think about you and your welfare before he thinks about himself, organisation or ministry.
There are some people who want you to stay in their organisation and use your talent to help their business or ministry grow but they care little or nothing for the success of your own assignment in life. Such people will kill your talent and render it useless.
My wife told me about how a former boss saw her working on a manuscript. He asked her what it was and she said that she was working on a book. She thought her boss was going to be happy for her but she was wrong. The man became visibly angry. “How are you going to be successful at your job if you spend your time writing books?” he asked. He proceeded to tell her that as long as she worked in his organisation he wanted her to think about nothing else but her job! Thank God that she saw through his facade of wisdom and quit that job. This happened over fifteen years ago and since then she has written 10 books.
There are pastors who will kill your talent because they want you in their church and nowhere else. Your assignment could be in New York, but because your pastor wants you to remain in his church in Lagos, he will do all he can to manipulate you to stay in his ministry to your own detriment, suffocating your talent in the process. If you want your talent to flourish, find leadership who believe totally in you and want the very best for you.
Decades ago I was with a church as a worship leader. The Lord started whispering certain things to my heart and I shared these things with the pastor. It was a huge mistake. The pastor told me that I was a worship leader and that was all I would ever be in his ministry. Thank God I had the courage to leave that ministry. A few years later I started doing exactly what God laid on my heart to do, pursuing and fulfilling my assignment. If I had remained with that ministry certain talents would have been stifled, suffocated and killed in my life. Thankfully I obeyed God rather than man and hundreds of thousands of people have been blessed through the pursuit of my calling and ministry.
Have Self doubt.
Many kill their talent through self doubt. Self doubt will paralyse you and make you attempt and accomplish far less than what God has in mind for you. Self doubt makes you undermine your talents and abilities. It makes you think that others are better than you, more gifted than you, more accomplished than you. It makes you look at your life and your future through the coloured lenses of the failures, mistakes and errors of your past. As long as the devil keeps you looking at yourself and life through the lenses of failure you will fail to use your talent and essentially end up killing it.
Don’t doubt yourself. Ever.
When God gives you an instruction, a command or an assignment you should understand that He has complete trust in the ability He has given you to accomplish that task. The Lord who called you and gave you the assignment will stand by you to see you through, so never doubt yourself.
Pursue money instead of your calling.
As a believer your life is not about the accumulation of money, property, degrees or businesses. Your life is about total submission and obedience to the Will of God for your life. It is about the fulfilment of God’s calling on your life. There is no substitute whatsoever for the fulfilment of your calling. You cannot abandon your calling and offer God some unsolicited, uninstructed, uncommanded ‘great works’ of your own making to appease Him. God cannot be appeased by your money or material things. He cannot be appeased by becoming successful in what He hasn’t called you to do. If you follow the error of the prosperity gospel which teaches that your life is about the accumulation of material things and possessions, you will easily give up your assignment for the pursuit of money. Many have abandoned their true calling in life by pursuing businesses, careers, ministries to which they weren’t called or assigned.
You must remember that you will not be rewarded for your successful accumulation of money. No. The Lord rewards us according to our obedience to do His Will through the wise use of our talents and the pursuit of our calling.
No matter how much money you make, no matter how high you rise in your career, no matter how much real estate you own, if you abandoned the use of your talent and abandoned your calling, you would have failed in the eyes of The Lord.
May you discover the talents hidden within you. May you explore these talents, understanding their depth, scope and dimensions. May you receive divine wisdom to utilise your talent to create services, goods and products that will make an impact in the marketplace and in the lives of those to whom you’ve been sent and assigned. May you find the courage to make decisions that will set you on the path of the pursuit and accomplishment of your assignment.
©Praise George 2016