The Comparison Game | Day Nine
By: Megan Gover | To download the second week of this study, click here.
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” – Henry Van Dyke
Most of us probably categorize talent in one of three different ways: athletic, academic, and musical. However, if sports aren’t your thing, good grades don’t come naturally to you and your experience with music is lip-sinking with a water bottle or hairbrush, does this mean you are not talented? Absolutely not!
The Lord has wired each of us with different abilities and aptitudes to provide a variety of ways for you to enjoy and worship Him! And they all look as different as we do.
The Bible has a ton of examples of talents utilized within different occupations. What were some of them? Let’s spend some time looking up the following verses and match the passage with the talent or occupation.
___ Cupbearer and Baker
A. Acts 18:3
B. Matthew 4:18
C. 1 Samuel 8:5
D. Jeremiah 18:2 – Romans 9:21
E. Genesis 40:5
F. Genesis 42:6
G. 1 Chronicles 7:4
H. Matthew 5:20
I. 2 Samuel 5:11
J. Luke 2:8
Some were random and some common while others were athletic and others were more artistic. After seeing those examples, what talents do you have?
What outlet are you currently using them? (Band, choir, school club, etc.)
If it’s hard for you to pinpoint your talent, that’s okay! How can you begin to cultivate and search out something you not only enjoy, but also are skilled in?
Whether you know your talent like the back of your hand or need some time to figure it out, let’s look at a passage in Colossians to see how we are to use our talents. As Paul writes to the church at Colossae, he instructs them in how those who are made alive in Christ should live.
Read Colossians 3:15-17.
What is supposed to rule us? What should dwell richly among us? How should we praise one another?
According to verse 17, we are supposed to do everything—whatever it is—in the name of the Lord.
What is your whatever? Insert your talent and you’ll begin to see it as a way of giving thanks to the Lord! It is evidently clear that the Lord can use any talent or ability and turn it into not only an occupation, but also a way to bring Him glory. But, comparisons easily thwart the joy of worshipping the Lord with the talents and gifts He gave us.
So, let’s quickly look at some of the way we compare our talents.
How do you often compare your talent? Do you wish you had a different talent or have more talent like so-and-so?
When do you find comparisons sneaking in your thoughts? Is it during practice or moments of weakness and frustration?
What is an example of comparing yourself that made you feel worse about your abilities? (Inferior comparison)
What is an example of you measuring your talent against others to puff up your ego and self-esteem?
How did those comparisons steal your joy?
How can you begin to take these thoughts captive?
Do you find yourself tempted in taking the glory when using your gifts and abilities? Or do you easily turn the glory back over to the Lord—the one who gave it to you in the first place?
Tomorrow we are going to study the purpose behind our abilities in-depth. However, end this time thanking the Lord for your talents. If you are prone to steal the limelight for your own self-esteem, confess this before the Lord and ask Him to give you a humble spirit. On the other hand, if you find yourself not utilizing your talents out of insecurity, ask the Lord for an opportunity to use your gift as a way to truly worship Him with excellence.