America’s Got Talent

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 29, 2014 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Every summer the last few years, a very popular game/reality show is on: America’s Got Talent. One thing I love about this show is that it gives people with a wide variety of skills a chance to display them. It’s not just a singing contest. It’s not just a dance contest. It has anything and everything. As I wrote this post, we just finished the quarter-finals, the top 48, of the competition. The acts making the semi-finals include singers, strength/balance acts, dancers, magicians, and more. Acts in the past have included bands, dog acts, comedians, motocross, bicycle trick artists, a indoor kite flyer, card throwers, archers, entertainers, aerial dance acts, and the list goes on and on. I love this show because of the variety of skills that are put on display. Yes, there are some very bad acts that show up in the auditions and there are other acts that I definitely do not agree that go forward with the judges or America’s voting, but there is an amazing display of skills and talents on this show.

What does this have to do with us at Worldview Warriors? Every one of us has talents and skills that God has given us. He didn’t just create us with a blank slate that needs to be filled. He gave us natural skills and talents and gave them to us with a purpose in mind. What kind of talents are we talking about? For some, it is a physical skill in a sport. For some it is at a craft, like welding, or crocheting, or painting. For some it is intellectual, like math, or history, or strategy. For others it is emotional such as encouragement, mercy showing, or counseling. And the one thing that makes each and every one of us unique is the combination of these skills and talents.

But natural talent alone will not take you far. These skills need to be developed, honed, and practiced. I am a Denver Broncos fan and I am loving the ride the team is having with Peyton Manning at quarterback (despite the difficult loss to Seattle in the last Super Bowl). One thing that makes Peyton stand out so much as a quarterback is his combination of natural talent and dedication to his job. Peyton is always the first on the field to practice, and always the last one off the field. And when he is not on the practice field, he is studying video of his team and his next opponent. Peyton also has a natural talent with his memory. He remembers every team, every drive, every team he’s played in such detail he can recall each part of it. That is one of the reasons he is so difficult to beat. Because unless you show him something he hasn’t seen before, he knows what you are going to do. It takes a lot to fool him.

What if we were to take the skills and abilities that we have and use them for the glory of God with the same level of dedication and focus that Peyton has with football and that every major athlete has towards his/her respective sport? Jesus tells a parable about talents in Matthew 25. Then, talents were a measurement of weight, particularly relating to money. One servant received five talents, another two and another just one. But let me point out a key phrase often missed: each according to his ability. In the parable, the master knew what his servants could handle and gave what they could manage. The first two servants used their talents and returned with double of what they originally had. Interestingly enough, their reward was the same: “You have been faithful with a few things, you shall be a ruler over many things.” The third servant did nothing with his talent. He wasted and the master called him wicked and lazy. And the talent of the third servant was given to the first who now had ten.

God gave us talents but he expects us to use them as they were intended to be used. There are many VERY gifted people out there who have either let their talents go completely to waste or they have used them for their own selfish desires. A brilliant mind can be used to help people or hurt them. A military strategist can use his skills to conduct his battle minimizing collateral damage, or he can go out and destroy as much as he can. A singer can use his voice or musical skills to give glory to God or he can use them to build up self. Or he can use them to lead others astray with subtle, inappropriate messages that many kids listen to. We will be held accountable for how we use our talents.

I’ll wrap up with a thought provoking question. I will not answer this question but I want you to think about it. In the Parable of the Talents, one servant was give five talents, one was given two, and the third was given just one all in accordance to their abilities. Did the servant with two or one talent look at the one with five and with jealousy demand that they be given the same talents? How often do we look at others’ skills and wish we were like them? Don’t we have enough to worry about with our own skills? But seriously think about this. If the servant with one talent was called wicked and lazy for not using his one talent, what would the master say if the servant with five talents only used four of them? Or if the servant with two talents only use one of them? I won’t answer that. I don’t want to know the answer. But I want that question to be in the back of our minds as we go about our business and to remind us to not let what God has given us go to waste.