Gifts and talents

Walking through my vegetable patch in midsummer is like Christmas! The garden is full of nice surprises. It overflows with delicious, fresh, organically grown food. There is no candy on earth that can give more satisfaction than a ripe cherry tomato popped off the vine and right into your mouth, warm from the sun and bursting with flavor!

But we cannot devour every wonderful gift that the garden provides. Many are made into preserves, jams, or pickles and then “re-gifted” to others to enjoy. Sadly, many sit on the kitchen counter and do not get used quickly enough.

There is not much wasted in my kitchen, actually. Most excess food goes to my waist, rather than goes to waste. But in any garden, some perfectly good things go unused. It is part of the natural order. If we and the birds miss a tomato or zucchini, there will be seeds sprouting in the spring for a new crop. The rotting produce feeds the worms, which aerate and fertilize the soil.

Sometimes gifts are meant to be used in a different way than we envision.

A local church created a video about their preaching intern’s “groundbreaking” role. She had much to say about her “gift,” presumably that of being able to preach to mixed audiences.

Her story brought me back to my days in catechism class at the Lutheran church, when I asked Pastor Mazak about becoming a preacher. He told me he didn’t see why I couldn’t. I showed him something I had found in my daily Bible reading. He was then speechless.

“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12).

That’s when the reality hit me concerning the widespread ignorance of the Bible. It was a crushing realization that there was no one qualified to simply tell me what’s what in the religious realm.

I wanted to preach. But more than that, I wanted to do God’s will. Even as a pre-teen, I could clearly see that there was a pattern for the church, and that men were to be in the lead. At that time, I had no idea why that was. The “pastor” obviously didn’t, either.

The senior minister in the video made a stab at explaining the verse that the Lutheran preacher could not explain. He surmised that it was simply a cultural issue that only applied to the churches at that time. He gave no reason for his explanation, but seemed to think his hearers would simply nod and agree, assuming he had studied the subject for all of us.

I find this alarmingly similar to my childhood denominational leader’s final exhortation. “Just don’t worry about that passage.”

Are we to summarily dismiss plain Bible teaching because it doesn’t fit our own cultural norm? While I will gladly address a roomful of legislators and attorneys about the legality of homeschooling choice, or a conference room full of businessmen, you won’t find me in a church pulpit addressing men and women. Why not?

“For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:14).

Without going into an exhaustive study, let it be noted that the reason went all the way back to the creation; not just a small increment of time.

So what of my “gift?” Nothing is wasted in nature, and my gift is not “wasted.” It may be used differently than what I may have wanted, that’s all.

A final thought — does God guarantee that all of our gifts will be fully utilized?

10 Replies to “Gifts and talents”

  1. Thank you for personal insights. So many in the religious world demonize those who strive for sound doctrine. They would like us to feel so mean for doing what’s right that we would just quit. “Just don’t worry about that passage,” is the motto of a movement. It is a movement away from truth and true liberation in Christ.

  2. Christine,
    Thank you for your timely comments, regarding women teaching within the assembly…and for you realizing that we must [all] stay inside of scripture to be pleasing unto Christ.

    1. I enjoy reading what my husband receives, so he sent it to me on my iPad. I want to have it come to me. It’s very interesting articles to me.

      1. Hi, Margaret, to get the article in your inbox, insert your email in the subscription box at the top of the right column here on the site. Blessings.

    2. Very good, we must all work where we can. God had His reason for making this rule, even if some do not seem to understand it.! I know some elders who need to read that and change their ways. C. Callan

  3. Thank you all for your kind comments, but most of all thank you for your love for God and His word. So many in the religious world have lost sight of what our worship is all about in the first place.

  4. Thank you for an excellent article. It is especially meaningful considering your background and experience. Thank you for re-emphasizing the urgent need to honor, respect, and obey God’s Word.

  5. Christine, This is piece strikes a such beautiful chord in this conversation. I cannot imagine a better illustration, or a more fitting one. You’ve preached, for sure. In God’s way. In God’s realm. Under God’s authority. Your words of grace and wisdom, and the path of humble submission to His will is sermon enough for all to hear. Thank you!

  6. Thank you! If this helps in a small way in pointing people to the word of God and away from their culturally-driven emotions, I am happy and humbled. This short article is by no means an exhaustive study on this subject, of course. But maybe simple is better; “God said it, that settles it.”

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