What if that talent were used for God?

Frames from an early animated film, Felix the Cat.

We don’t watch movies very often for two reasons – firstly, we want to be good stewards of the time God has given us to use for Him, and secondly, it is difficult to find excellent material that we are comfortable sharing with our children. But about a week ago, we decided to rent an animated film made a couple decades ago and watch it with our adult children who are still at home. The film was a relatively harmless diversion (especially considering that the children we watched it with are grown) even if it wasn’t particularly edifying, but I had only one thought when I lay down to bed after viewing it: What if the talent that went into writing, animating, and producing that film had been used for God?

God has given each person on earth specific abilities and talents. Even those who don’t know Him or recognize Him as Lord and Savior have been blessed with giftings in music, writing, film, art, construction, farming, medicine, technology, and so on. Imagine the world we would live in if all those abilities were being employed for His glory!

While the unsaved are unlikely to use their giftings expressly to honor God, those of us who are Christians shoulder a weighty responsibility to use our health, our finances, our talents, our time, our very lives for Him. In I Timothy 4 Paul reminded Timothy, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee.” It is possible to bury our talents, to allow the good things to push out room for the best things, to use our giftings in ways that please ourselves rather than our Creator.

As we begin this new year, let’s take a few moments to reflect on the special talents God has given to us as individuals. Are we using them for Him? Are there gifts that we’ve neglected? Are there things we are doing to please ourselves that are using up our energy to work for the Lord? Let’s ask God for the wisdom to pursue the endeavors He would have us pursue and let’s purpose to improve and exercise our gifts so that He may be glorified and we may experience growth.

A special note to wives, mothers, and grandmothers: Please remember that home-making (and all that goes into it) is itself a gift — a beautiful gift that God wants to use to sanctify you and to bless your family and others. The home is a much-neglected place of ministry. Any interests and abilities that He has given you as an individual can be woven into the fabric of family life, hospitality, outreach, and entrepreneurship over the years. Satan may tempt you to look at what other women are doing to try to make you feel like you are not doing “enough” or that your gifts are being “wasted” in the home, but if you are being a faithful wife, training your children to love the Lord with all their hearts, reaching out to your brethren and the community, and setting an example for the younger women and coming alongside them, you are being a nation builder. Bless you, faithful wife. Bless you, sacrificing mother. Bless you, praying grandmother. May God be pleased to raise up many more like you in the years to come!

Copyright © 2021

* Because the term “nation builder” can have various shades of meaning, I should clarify that I am using it as I first heard it used by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies magazine. A strong nation begins with strong homes, churches, and communities. As wives, mothers, and grandmothers, we have the opportunity to build each of these up or to tear them down. (See Proverbs 14:1, Romans 12:4-18, James 2:8.)