“God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. ”
― Eric Liddell
Eric Liddell was a Scottish athlete and missionary. His training and Gold Medal win in the 1924 Olympics held in Paris can be seen in the 1981 film "Chariots of Fire".
Pastor James Taylor has been preaching on the concept of Stewardship for the last 2 weeks. This past week he spoke about talents and how we should be using what we are good at for God's purposes. It was a great sermon and it got me thinking about why we struggle so much to give our talents back to God.
God has given each and every one of us a particular talent. Something that we are not only good at but driven to do. For example, one of my very good friends that I think of as a sister, has a talent to paint. Not only is she very good at painting, she loves doing it. It is truly a God given talent.
With that being said, I also feel as though she is limiting what she can or can't do because she truly desires to give that gift back to God. Some of you may be wondering what I mean by that last statement. Well, allow me to clarify a bit. When we as Christians recognize we have a talent and then desire to give that talent back to God, we often create false boundaries around that talent. These false boundaries then limit how we use our talent.
Think about Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner I quoted above. Would his talent as a runner had as great an impact for God's glory had he decided that in order for his running ability to be used by God, he could only run in "Christian" races? Of course not! He ran for God's glory on the grandest stage a runner could have and the world saw it! Eric didn't artificially limit his talent so it could be used by God. He pursued his talent with every fiber of his being and by operating fully in it, God was glorified!
Now, I am also not saying that just because we have a talent there are no boundaries at all. Eric Liddell actually refused to run some particular races in the 1924 Olympics when he found out that some of the heats would be run on Sunday. That was a boundary that he accepted and refused to cross. What is truly interesting to note is that one of the races Eric refused to run in, the 100 meter dash, was his best event! Because he bowed out of that event, he entered into the 400 meter. That is the event he won gold in and set a record that lasted 12 years! The boundary set by God for keeping the Sabbath didn't stop Eric from competing but actually became one of the primary reasons for Eric's fame.
Now, let's get back to my friend with the incredible painting talent. She doesn't need to create false boundaries for her talent and restrict the use of her talent to give God glory. All she needs to do is stay within the boundaries God sets in His word and then allow her talent to shine to the best of her ability.
God takes pleasure in His son's and daughter's when they use their God given talents to their fullest. In fact, I believe, The grandest stages of the world are set and waiting for those that honor God with their talents. So get out there, find your passion and talent then do it to the absolute best of your ability so that your Heavenly Father can take pleasure in it!
Phillip Reed is the Associate Pastor of Faith Chapel Ministries. His passion is to reconcile the lost to their Heavenly Father.