For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13)
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I don’t think any of us doubt that God has given us gifts and talents. We learn about these gifts as we grow older through our interactions with others, and they are developed based on our experiences.
But what about when these “gifts” cause trouble for us? For example, I have been gifted with a sense of humor, but this humor of mine has developed with a “blue” side to it that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. Consequently, I sometimes (thankfully a lot less than I used to) make a joke that is funny, but not to everyone hearing it.
We all know someone who has an intellect that is remarkable, but they don’t know how to react to social clues and often their intellect makes it nearly impossible for anyone to relate to them, and vice-versa.
A gift that is God-given which has resulted in pain or social ostracization for the donee makes me wonder if we can blame God for this problem. After all, he gave me that gift, he made me the way I am, so why should I change? Why should I try to be different than what I am if God made me this way? If so many other people don’t like what I say, maybe that’s because they aren’t spiritual or understanding that this is a gift from God?
There is definitely something to the idea that what the world hates is probably something that God likes, but that isn’t a cop-out to be impolite, to be judgmental, or to ignore your effect on other people.
My answer to this question is no- we cannot blame God for the way we act in society. We can thank God for whatever gift(s) he has given us, but the bottom line is that we need to use these gifts in a way that will glorify God. That is the key; that is the answer to the question “Why am I this way?”
We are what we are because God made us a certain way in order that we can glorify him. The gifts and talents God gives us are there to be used in his favor, for his purposes and to glorify him. When we use them to glorify ourselves (such as me telling a “dirty” joke because I know the guys I am with will like it) that gift is sullied and stained with pridefulness. When we take the insight God has given to some for teaching but use it to generate dissension and argument, just so that we can come into that argument (we started) and then tell everyone what we know, that is not edifying anyone or glorifying God- that is ego and pride misusing God’s gift.
God has a plan for everyone- I truly believe that. Whether someone is a Believer or an Atheist, God can use that person for his purposes in order to bring about whatever plan he has. We saw Pharaoh used to introduce God to the world; we saw Moses used to show God’s protection and love for his people; we saw Daniel used along with Nebuchadnezzar to tell us about the coming of Messiah and the future of the world. We saw John used to let us know how the Acharit HaYamim (End Times) will come about and what to expect.
Look to see what God has done in your life to use you and others. I know in my life he has used both Believers and non-Believers to shape and develop me into what he wants. I am still somewhat of a blob, still being shaped, but I can see a difference from where I started to where I am now.
This ministry is, I believe, what God wants me to share. I believe he has given me a gift for teaching (which has been confirmed by many others who are Believers and spiritually mature) that I am trying to use in order to edify and teach others about God. I try to use this ministry to reach out to those in a more “worldly” way to teach them about the spiritual truths. As Shaul, that nice Jewish tent-maker from Tarsus once said, I will do and say whatever I have to d and say to get the Gospel out to people.
And despite my attempts, I find myself still falling back into the self-centered use of some of God’s gifts to me. It is an uphill battle to fight our own iniquity, but it is a battle we must never stop fighting.
We must use the gifts and talents that God has given us and bring them back to him with interest. Remember the parable about the Master who gave talents (meaning money) to his slaves before traveling? When he returned, the two slaves that gave him back double what he had given them were welcomed into their Master’s joy. The one who did nothing with the talent he was given was called wicked and sent into the darkness.
What gifts has God given you? Are you aware of them? The most important question of all: are you using them to glorify God? Search yourself if you aren’t sure, and when you do discover the gifts God has given you, use them to glorify him and you will be rewarded with blessings on earth, and in the Olam Haba (world to come) you will be welcomed into your Master’s joy.