Saturday, August 23, 2014

What are you doing with what you've been given?

A few days ago I was jogging through downtown when I saw a person I recognized coming out of a coffee shop.  He was carrying a guitar case.  I had seen him a few times over the past month sitting at various benches throughout the city playing an acoustic guitar.  I approached him, reminded him of our having met a few years ago, and proceeded to ask him questions about his being a musician.

He shared his musical history with me, influences, and a few examples of original instrumental songs that he had written.  As we talked, I was able to share with him that I was a Christ follower and that I write songs that are expressive of my faith in Christ.  As we talked more about his original songs, he mentioned that he was afraid to demo his songs and share them with others without having a formal copyright in place.  I encouraged him not to allow the formalities of copyrights to restrict his sharing his gift with others.  That his gift could bless others and encourage younger musicians and writers to invest themselves into developing their musical creativity.  I encouraged him to continue writing and expressing his gift.  At the end of the conversation I had shared that the God of the Bible is creative, and that when He places gifts in us and we give our best effort to grow and develop in that gift; that it pleases God.

While I was talking to my new friend, I realized that I was talking to me through me.

As I began to jog again I asked myself, "what am I doing with what I've been given?"

I believe that God gives each of us gifts.  And generally, when we take time to invest in developing or giving expression to those gifts we feel alive and satisfied.

So my question to you friend is the same question that I asked myself.... "What are you doing with what you've been given?"

I don't say that to condemn you.  I say that to encourage you to live a life without regrets.  A life where you give it your best shot.

I had a conversation with someone last year, where I recognized that not only was this person given an incredible gift, he had taken the development of his gift very seriously.  He recognized a responsibility to be a steward of his gift and committed to develop it to its greatest potential.  He felt that this God given gift was a blessing and should be viewed and treated as such.  I believe that because he took this personal view and took time to develop his gift, is the exact reason that God has opened up many doors for him as a professional session singer, worship leader, instructor, and life coach.  His stewardship of his gift has created an ability to influence others and inspire others in the stewardship and development of their own personal God given gifts.

Which brings me to the final thought.  As a Christian, we are instructed to use our gifts to the glory of God  through Jesus Christ.  Its express purpose is to point others to Jesus, that others may come to a saving knowledge of Him through our gifts being expressed.  I am personally convicted when I see the hours of dedication someone will put in to advancing their development as an actor or pop singer which most of the time has no intention in trying to advance the Kingdom of God.  Especially when I'm having trouble just picking up the Bible, or sitting down to rehearse a 4 song praise and worship set...

Though my encounter with my guitar playing friend might have seemed like he was left with the encouragement, it was really me who walked away encouraged and taught.

It's never too late to get more invested in the development of your God given gifts.  Start today, and stay committed and watch how God will use it!

Take away verses:
"Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
    so that we may grow in wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Matthew 25:14-27

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