“Talents and Tasks”
By Shelly Burke, Nebraska Family Times Publisher and Editor
“Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with what the Lord has commanded. And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.” Exodus 36:1-2
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God Who empowers them all in everyone…for just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, tough many are one body, so it is with Christ.” 1 Corin. 12:4-6, 12
A few months ago our LWML circle met to make the final arrangements for our church’s annual salad luncheon. As the chairwoman went through the list of tasks that needed to be done the last few days before the luncheon and on that day, I heard the following comments:
“I have nerve damage in my fingers so I can’t carry anything; I can move them in hot water so I can wash dishes.”
“It’s hard for me to walk but I can sit and pour coffee.”
“I have to leave by so I can watch my kids at the track meet, but I will come early and set up.”
“I used to work as a clerk so don’t mind taking money.”
“I like to see all the people who come; I’ll help them find a place at the tables and carry their food for them.”
“I’m free all day—let me know when you need help.”
I said, “This is my first year helping, so I’ll be here and you tell me what needs to be done!”
Several things struck me:
- People didn’t focus on their limitations, but looked beyond them to the tasks they could do.
- Everyone at the meeting had different skills and abilities, different things they preferred to do, different things they didn’t like to do—and there was a task that fit every preference.
- By the end of the evening all of the tasks, down to who would bring empty containers for leftover salads, were filled.
- Every single task was necessary to making the event a success.
The task of bringing containers for leftovers after the salad luncheon was as important as the task of setting up the tables, which was as important and making phone calls to remind people to bring the salads and actually making salads! Without all of the tasks being done and all of the people involved using their talents (despite their limitations), it would not have been a success.
In the verses at the beginning of this devotion the task was to build the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the altar for burnt offerings, and everything the Israelites would use for worship and sacrifice. The specifications for these items takes several chapters. There must have been hundreds if not thousands of people working, and they all had their own gifts and talents and worked according to their own specific gifts and talents.
We don’t have to worship in a tabernacle or sacrifice animals any more, thanks to God sending Jesus as a sacrifice to die for us and take away all of our sins. But God still wants us to be a part of building his “church”—the body of those who believe in Him.
Just as the human body is made up of many parts, all of which (ideally) function together, the church body is made up of many parts, all necessary for the church body to function in spreading God’s love and His Word and message of sin, grace, and forgiveness. He calls us to, instead of focusing on our shortcomings and limitations, focus on our sills and the things we can do.
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10
God calls all of us to use the skills and talents He has given us. Romans 14:12 tells us that we each will be called to give an account of what we did here on earth, to God. I want to tell Him that I made use of my gifts, despite my limitations. Don’t you want to say the same thing?
What gifts and talents can you use for God?
Lord, thank you for the unique gifts and talents You have given to me. Please lead and guide me and give me opportunities to use my gifts for Your glory. Amen.
(I'm also blogging at Home is Where the Mom Iscom.
Click to read today's post, "Time for Yourself; Finding It!")