A Brief Take On “Talents”
(By Yvonne Cummins – June 2022)
We are bombarded with so much on the subject of talent. There are many and varied kinds of “talent shows” particularly on television, including X- Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent, where people showcase their talent[s] to the general public and compete for the winning position. These hopefuls seek to change their status in life, and might derive adoration, a new career pathway and/or fame, and even monetary reward.
We’ve also become acquainted with people who call themselves talent scouts, such as in the game of cricket, football, gymnastics, and ice skating, whose purpose it is to identify talented individuals, and make a name for themselves in the bargain. Generally speaking, this is the worldly perception of, and utilisation of talents.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines talent as “… a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught.”
Let’s take a look at Scripture to see God’s perspective. Exodus 35 provides a very good illustration.
Moses said to the Children of Israel “The Lord has chosen Bezalel, the son of Uri from the tribe of Judah, to work on the Sanctuary. He has placed His Spirit on him and given him skill, ability and knowledge in all types of artistic works….” (Exodus 35:30)
There are a number of important things highlighted by this Scripture. Here we see that Moses doesn’t play the part of the talent scout, but points out the originator of
the talent as being the Lord. And God chooses specific people to endow (in this case Bezalel).
The Lord’s purpose for endowing Bezalel was for him to do works on the Sanctuary. In other words, God’s expectation when He gives us a talent is that it be utilised predominantly for the benefit of God’s works, in this particular example to work on the Sanctuary.
When God endows an individual with talents, the anointing of the Spirit of God is essential for that person to fulfil the ordained works with skill, ability and knowledgably.
We note that Bezalel was gifted with the ability to do various types of works. Therefore, is possible for an individual to be empowered with one, or several gifts or talents. We can also conclude, that without the Holy Spirit’s anointing Bezalel would have been just an ordinary, very good craftsman, like those whom God called him to teach!
Further, Exodus 35:34 indicates how God wants Bezalel’s talents to be utilised: “The Lord has given him and his assistant Oholiab son of Ahisamach the skill to teach.
From this statement, we can deduce that the Lord can choose to group skilled individuals together and give them clear roles. Bezalel is the main person, Oholiab is his assistant. It is also very clear to see from this example that Bezalel and Oholiab are both expected to teach and to skill others to work for the Lord. God therefore wants an attitude of sharing and building up/ enabling of others. He doesn’t want those He’s gifted to keep it selfishly.
But the ability to teach is not the only gift bestowed on Bezalel, and his assistant, we are given an indication of some of the talents God bestows as Moses states: “He wants him to design things to be made out of gold, silver and bronze.” (Exodus 35:32). “He wants him to cut and set precious stones, to carve wood and to use his artistic craftsmanship to help me to make His Sanctuary.” (Exodus 35:33). “He has given them skill as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers and weavers of fine linen and yarn dyed blue, purple and scarlet. They will do this with the skill of trained designers and craftsman.” (Exodus 35:35)
According to 1 Peter 4:10 each of us have some of God’s gifts which we should use to help others, “like good stewards, administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
There’s also an attitude which should exist when using our talents, i.e. “Whoever serves should do it with the strength that God has given Him, so that God will be praised through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:12).
So, let God reveal your talent[s] and use them, not for self-glorification but for the building of God’s kingdom and for His glory!