So You Think You’ve Got Talent?: The Source of Our Talents Is Not Ourselves

Posted: March 31, 2015 in 42-Gospel of Luke

Luke 16:1-18 — Money, money, money, money, money. Did you know that there are approximately 2,350 verses in the Bible about money and possessions. That’s approximately 15% of the Bible. The Bible speaks about money and possession more than heaven and hell combined. And people say the Bible does not speak to us in our day and age anymore! What is more universal than money? What is a commonality between us and people of the Bible? It’s money. The need of it. The abuse of it. The lack of it. The management of it. It’s all there in the Bible. Jesus himself mentions it quite frequently.

But wait, before you go running off in saying Creflo Dollar and Joel Osteen did indeed get the gospel correctly, Jesus did not preach their brand of prosperity gospel. The thing that Jesus taught about the most was the kingdom of heaven. He did not preach that God will bless you with riches if you do what He says. Often he preached quite the opposite. He did not preach that if you invest in Jesus you will get a 20% return on your investment annually as it seems some prosperity gospel preachers essentially preached.

Jesus preached that we should use our resources to honor God and to demonstrate love and mercy to our fellow man. In those things we will find blessings. Jesus preached that money was to be used as a tool for the kingdom not that which we worship.

This parable that is often called the Parable of the Shrewd Manager teaches us many things and we may need to spend several days here in this passage. What we will look at today is the where our money comes from. Tomorrow, we will look at how we use it. Thursday, we will look at money and integrity. And we will close out on Friday by looking at what could be if we had a proper perspective on God and money.

This parable reminds us that the source of our money is not from within us. We are simply managers of what we have been given. Many of believe that we make our own way in the world. We believe that our talents are something inate in us. We think that our talents are what give us money. Our ability to make money comes from God. God knitted us together in our mother’s wombs and knows every hair on our heads. He gave us each talents that are best suited to us. He gives us all talents to make the world operate. For example, if He gave us all the talent to be preachers, we would all be edified but we sure would be hungry! Our talents are from God and we should recognize that. Just as the manager in this story got his abilities to manage the estate of the rich man from the rich man. Without what had been given by the rich master, he would have nothing. We should recognize then the source of our power to earn a living. Our rich master is God. He graces us with the talents that we have to be accountants, bakers, housewives, stay at home moms, information technology professionals, road construction workers, carpenters, factory workers, preachers, teachers, customer service representatives, you name it. God made us from the moment of conception to have the talents that He designed for us individually. Our talents are part of His grand design for the world such that we play a role in the world He has created as it hurdles daily toward the end all of things. How do you think we seem to gravitate to certain professions or trades? It is because God gave us those particular pre-dispositions from birth. We gravitate toward that which we find fulfilling when it comes toward our work. In school, we gravitate toward those subjects that are in our wheelhouse. Where do you think our wheelhouse, our sweet spot, our passion for what we do comes from? It comes from God.

When we come that realization, it can be one of those wow moments. We think so often in this world that we are our own masters. In capitalist societies such as in the US and most well-developed nations, we think we are the ones that make us. We are self-made men and women. We control. We decide. When you realize that what you do for a living that gives us the ability to make money and gives us that inner satisfaction that it comes from God and not some thing that we did, it changes your perspective. You did not just randomly come to this profession or trade that you are in. As anyone knows when we are not in the wheelhouse of talents that got gave us as for as our work goes, we are not fulfilled. We gravitate toward those jobs that utilize the gifts that we have been given by our Creator. We have talents and they come from God. He imprinted us with our talents when He created us is in that mysterious moment when sperm and egg unite to create that spark of life that becomes you and I. Think about it. Your talents are from God. You are given your talents from the Rich Master in heaven.

When we get this perspective right, it changes everything. It causes me to think of my work as my glory to God because He designed me for the profession or trade that I do. If I do not display these talents to the best of my ability I am dishonoring God. If I do not use my talents for good then I am dishonoring my Creator. If I use my talents in evil or deceitful ways, I am rejecting the very One who gave me my talents. If I do not honor God with the money that accrues from my use of the talents he gave me, I am dishonoring him and I am not praising Him. He gave me the ability to make money at what I do for a living. I must honor Him in not only how I do my job but in the ways that I use the money that my God-gifted talents allow me to make.

Praise God with your talents. Praise God with the money that comes from using your talents. Amen.

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