Today I’ve been thinking about gifts and talents. A wise man once said: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” (~Leo Buscaglia, 1924-1998).
I love that! I’m sure all of us have pondered at one point or another “What are my talents?”
and, “What am I doing with them?“
As a singer, I’ve always had my musical art as my “fall-back talent”. Doing something artistic is an easily seen and recognized “talent”. But, I personally believe we each have many “hidden talents” that can be discovered and shared.
Anciently, a “talent” was a measure of weight or sum of money that was of great worth. It also served as a symbol for something of great value, such as the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the gospel of Matthew we read about Jesus’ ” parable of the talents” (Matt: 25:14-29).
Three servants were each given some talents by their Master. The first and second servants each doubled their investments before the Lord returned, and were praised:
“Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
The third servant did not fare as well. He admitted he had simply buried his gift in the ground, stating;
“I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth…”.
The Master was very displeased with this servant’s use of His special gift, and he didn’t mince words:
“Thou wicked and slothful servant. . . Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”
Jesus’ parables have many layers of meaning. But, the message is clear – when God gives us a gift, talent responsibility or stewardship, He expects us to use it wisely, and magnify it. God is not happy when we treat his gifts carelessly, fearfully, or try to hide them.
The scriptures have a recurring theme concerning the gift of talents. Those who put their talents to good use, and add to them or improve upon them, are given more. And, those who do not use or share their talents, actually lose them.
“…if the Gentiles have not charity. . . thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly.” – Esther 12:35
Modern revelation offers some deeper insight into the definition of a “talent” as our gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ, or our personal “testimony of Christ” (try inserting that phrase in place of “talent” when you read the scriptures – it definitely gives us something to ponder!):
“But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent [testimony of Christ] which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.
“And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it [the testimony of Christ] shall be taken away, even that which they have.”
- D&C 60:2-3 [italicized words added]
But, interestingly enough, we could insert virtually any “talent” or “gift” into that scripture and it could take on extra meaning. Whether we are considering our personal, artistic or social talents and gifts, or our spiritual “talent” of faith and belief, the message is clear. Our Lord and Master wants us to “use it, or lose it“.
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” (~Leo Buscaglia, 1924-1998).
What are your gifts? Do you have fears that are holding you back from using and sharing them? Have you ever discovered a “hidden talent”? What are you doing to “give back” to God? – MoSop