No wait, let’s save that until the end. I wouldn’t want to give the thought away already.
I’m sure you are really good at a couple of things, as am I. Let me give you an example. As with most artists I have an ability to draw complete pictures in my head. Everyone can picture a tree no big deal. It’s not like that. Here’s an example. For awhile my brother, father and I ran a wood shop. We made things like shelves, bookcases, china cabinets etc. Being the one with the artistic talents, I did most of the designing. My brother, blessed with an analytical attention to detail, did the specifications. Here’s how that played out. Before I ever built anything I could see it in every detail in my head, just as it would turn out. Next, I would build it. Simple enough until brother comes along and asks, “How did you do it?”, i.e. “Where’s the plan?”. I’m sure you realize that was not part of the process I just described. No plan. Saw it, built it. Kinda makes it hard to duplicate! But in bringing our talents together we not only produced a great product, we reproduced it.
Let me give you one more example, the one that really provoked the “thought.” In doing business we always kept an eye and ear out for indications we might be dealing with a Christian. Often we were, and, sadly, far too often we were and you couldn’t tell; but that’s a “thought” for another day. Anyways, at a future point we entered into negotiations for another business and, therefore, a business agreement. We had made a decision early on that, just as before, God would get all the glory for all we achieved and the talent he gave us to achieve it. I won’t go into the details, but during this negotiation the point was discussed as to how we or anyone we partnered up with would have to operate. Later in one of those partnership talks we were greatly surprised to hear this statement: “God gave me the talent, but I made it profitable.” This began what would be a 3 hour long debate between me and the potential (lawyer) partner.
You know it’s been years since that meeting and just typing that now still stuns me. I don’t know what more I could say to illustrate my thought, so here’s the awaited scripture; 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” As always, don’t take my word for it read it for yourself. You’ll probably already have the Bible open anyway reading the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:15-30, they kind of work together to form my thought.
Now that you’ve read the parable it should be clear that any talent we have God gave us. Not only that, did you get the idea that even non-Christians have talents, but as “faithful servants” it’s our responsibility to make them “profitable.” Profitable? Yes, the point of the parable is to take what God gives you and make all you can out of it. When ladies in my family sing, the spiritual profit they bring to all who hear is huge. When I share “Just a Thought” with you I hope the profit you experience is pleasing to God. If you ever come across one of our wood pieces you won’t be able to tell it was made by our hands, but you can tell it was made by God’s. You see, the most important feature of each item was a merged fish and cross burnt into it somewhere. (Yes, exactly like the logo for this site) I designed it then as a personal commitment to always give God the glory, to give credit where credit was due. We permanently branded our work to state that this was built and built well to profit the Kingdom of God and His glory.
Now, “Just a thought”… If God gives us the talent, and tells us “…do all for the glory of God” how do we take credit for the results?
© 9/29/2003 Scott A Caughel