Matters of Faith: Talents, Skills, Abilities And Gifts!


By Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


How would you react if you suddenly discovered that your cognitive abilities were suddenly limitless, that your perception, memory, judgement and reasoning were suddenly and remarkably precise? If suddenly you had the ability to accurately and effortlessly calculate any mathematical equation? If you could remember anything you heard or saw word-for-word or in exact detail? If suddenly you realized that you knew the cure to every form of cancer, the cure for AIDS, the solution to violence, and the formula for world peace? How would you react if you discovered that you could play any song on any instrument after hearing it only once, or could speak and understand any language without ever taking a course?

I am exaggerating the point to make a point; some of us have talents, skills, abilities and gifts that rival or even surpass those that I’ve mentioned. The problem is that we never develop them and end up taking those talents, skills, abilities and gifts to our graves.

We all have been gifted. They may not be as extensive as the ones mentioned above, but we all have some talent, some skill, some ability and/or some gifts. I remember when I was growing up, people would brag about their gifts and abilities. What we heard a lot of was someone’s “gift of gab.” They were saying that they could talk their way into or out of anything. And for some, it really was their gift. Some are now being paid for their gift as lawyers, teachers, DJs, and some are even preachers. Hello!

Some have the gift of artistry. I remember a friend in high school who was a gifted graffiti artist. His tags were synonymous with the New York Subway system. I don’t know if he ever did anything with his talent, his skill, his ability or his gift (we went to school to study auto mechanics), but I know many with that gift who are now illustrators, web designers, and architects. Our talents, skills, abilities and gifts are God-given to be a blessing. Whatever your giftedness may be, heed the advice of the Apostle Paul as he writes to Timothy; “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you.., (2 Tim. 1:6). Further on, he encourages his young protégé and writes, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you..,” (1 Timothy 4:14 GNT).

When you stir up the gifts the Lord has given you, you are a blessing. Paul encouraged an entire church when he wrote to the Galatians (6:6-10); “6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

If we use postmodern vernacular, Paul is saying, “What goes around, comes around!” Use your talents, skills, abilities and gifts to be a blessing to others. That is to say, give them away generously.., and you will be the recipient of blessings yourself!

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill Baptist and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email