I was having coffee with a friend the other day and she was telling me how under-utilized she feels.
“I want to be used by God, but I just don’t feel like I have a great impact, so I find myself not using my gifts.”
I was instantly struck with this thought.
I think most of us want to make a great impact. We want to use our gifts and talents to make a difference in the world. We want to matter, feel significant, and play a vital role. But sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can be deceived into burying our gifts, believing the lie that a small impact isn’t worth the trouble.
But that’s not what Jesus teaches.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” Matt. 25:14,15
If you know the story you’ll remember that the first two put their talents to work immediately, but the servant who received only one talent, buried it under the ground.
Sometimes I wonder if he did that because he saw how much the other servants had. More than him. Did comparison steal his chance to use the talent he had been given?
What about us? Does comparing our talents and success with that of others actually undermine our ability to use the gifts we have been given?
The size of our impact should not determine the use of our gift.
We are continually encouraged: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Ro. 12:6-8
It doesn’t say, if your gift is prophesying, then prophesy if you have an audience. If it is to lead, then lead diligently if you have followers, if it is to encourage, then give encouragement to gain popularity.
It simply says to do what you’ve been gifted to do. Despite nothing.
To be completely honest, the friend who was telling me this over coffee was actually me. For too long the enemy has been on my back and in my ear whispering lies that I shouldn’t use my gift because I’m not making that big of an impact. He had me tied up in knots, comparing myself to others that I perceived were having more success in reaching their dreams and God-given callings. In my eyes, I didn’t have the same success as these others, so why even bother? My enemy convinced me to bury what I did have out of fear, pride and insecurity.
But God, in His loving grace reminded me once again that the size of my impact should not determine the use of my gift. That if He’s gifted and called me to write for, encourage and build up the body of Christ I am to obey that calling no matter if I see the fruit of my labor.
And so it is for all of us, because each of us is gifted in one way or another and each of us is called to use that gift for His glory.
Are you using yours?