Several months ago, I came to a point where I was just done. Done with blogging; done with writing.
“Why am I even doing this?” I asked Jonathan. “There are a million better writers than I. I already have a lot to do. I’m not adding anything to the world by writing. My audience isn’t as big as this person or that person. I should just stop writing and let better people do it.”
“What? That’s a terrible argument. It’s like saying since one person has written a cookbook, nobody else should write a cookbook. You need to use the talents God has given you to reach the people around you. Stop focusing on other people.”
“Use the talents God has given to reach the people He’s given.”
Around this time, I heard a couple sermons that touched on this same topic. One from my Pastor; one from my husband. Ahem. The one Jonathan gave was well after our conversation, but the lesson was so burning in my mind that I had a hard time looking in his eyes while he was preaching. Which goes to show that sometimes the most convicted person in the congregation is the preacher’s wife. [hand raised]
Over the last month, I’ve been meditating on this story Jesus told about a man who gives his servants money before he leaves on a trip. The two guys who receive the most money invest it and give double back to their master when he returns. But the guy who gets a little money just buries his.
I wonder why he buried it.
I wonder if he was worried he wouldn’t do anything profitable with it, so he just buried it. The verses indicates there was some type of fear involved with his motivation. Maybe he was embarrassed because he had received the least amount of money. Feeling self-conscious because the other servants got 2x and 5x the amount he got. Wanting others to think he hadn’t received anything instead of realizing he had gotten the least amount.
I don’t know exactly what was going through his mind when he decided to bury his money. But I know this – he didn’t use what his master gave him. Why? Because he was afraid.
Sometimes it’s easy to look at what others have and become self-conscious at what I perceive I don’t have, whether it’s a talent, relationship, or circumstance.
But really: When I become embarrassed at what I don’t have, where is my focus?
It’s either on myself or on others, isn’t it? Usually it just waffles back and forth between the two.
When my focus is on myself and others, I will always become either proud or paralyzed. Proud if those around me seem to rise below my estimation of “good.” And paralyzed by fear when they have anything more than what I possess.
The only right response is to fix my eyes on God,
the One Who has given me all things in Jesus Christ.
Not to be obsessed with myself and the gifts He’s given me. And not to drool over the gifts He’s given to others.
So. Whatcha got? What has God given you that you’ve been trying to bury? Bury because you don’t know what to do with it. Or because it’s not as much as others have.
Instead of focusing on your gift or someone else’s, let me encourage you to focus on God.
If you don’t know how to use your gifts, ask the One Who gave them to you.
If you’ve been burying a gift because you’re afraid to use it, dig that baby up and start using it to bring glory to the Gift-Giver.
Don’t bury it. Use it – for the glory of God Who gave it to you.
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