by Rick Warren — June 29, 2017
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
God has given you unique abilities, talents, and gifts. At Saddleback Church, we say they represent a person’s SHAPE: spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences. This bundle of talents is the thing God has given you that makes you who you are and sets you apart from other people.
If you think your talents are simply for you to make a lot of money, retire, and die, you’ve missed the point of your life. God gave you talents to benefit others, not yourself. And God gave other people talents that benefit you.
We’re all a part of the body of Christ, and each part matters. There are no insignificant people in the family of God. You are shaped to serve God, and he is testing you to see how you are going to use the talents he gave you.
Whether you are a musician or an accountant, a teacher or a cook, God gave you those abilities to serve others. Today’s verse says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV). When God made you, he made an investment in you, and he expects a return on that investment.
Are you using what he’s given you for the benefit of others to make the world a better place? Or are you just using those talents to benefit yourself?
When God gives you a talent, he expects you to use it. It’s like a muscle. If you use it, it will grow. If you don’t, you’ll lose it. If you have a talent but are afraid to use it, or if you get lazy and don’t use it to benefit others, you’re going to lose it. Like the parable of the 10 talents in Luke 19, if you don’t use what God has given you, he will take it away and give it to someone else who will.
But if you use your talents wisely, God will give you more. If you use your time wisely, God will give you more time. If you use your energy wisely, God will give you more energy. If you use your influence wisely, God will increase your influence. God will bless your level of faithfulness.