Where to Deploy Your Talent I

This is the third part of the ongoing series on How to Discover, Develop, and Deploy Your Talent. The following links refer to the two previous posts in the series.

How To Know What Your Main Talent Is

How To Develop Your Talent

If you want to be significantly distinguished in life, you must discover, develop, and deploy your talent. Having already dealt with how to discover and develop your talent, let us move on now to the issue of deployment – how and where to deploy your talent.

Let your light shine

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
~Matthew 5:16

Here, Jesus Christ reveals the two main interests that should always motivate the excellent expression of our talents, as God’s children:

  1. The praise of God.
    Our hearts must be to see the nations worship our God.
    The excellent expression of your talent must ultimately be motivated by the passion to generate praise and worship to God.
  2. The benefit of men.
    The excellent expression of your talent must also bless the lives of men and women. Otherwise, it is utterly worthless.

The above two motivations also reveal the primary and most important places for the deployment of your talent:

  1. The house of God.
  2. The marketplace.

In this post, I will focus on the first place – that is, the house of God. But first, let me point out something very important.

According to our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the greatest enemies to the full development and refinement of talent is the love of money. He points this out in the following verse – it comes from His explanation of the parable of the Sower.

"The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature."
~Luke 8:14

Your talent could be accurately considered a seed of God within you. Jesus shows in the verse above that God’s seeds in you could effectively be choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. This hinders them from developing to full maturity. The money-motive chokes and deforms the uniqueness and real power of any talent.

This is a huge problem in the African continent. Due to poverty, our society values talents through the shortsighted scale of financial gain. Many compromise the true beauty and distinction of their talents for what ‘sells.’ Sermons, songs, movies, are decided by popular trends and what sells. Career choices are generally preferred on the basis of monetary gains. The question is usually, "How can I make money from this?" And when there is no direct short cut to monetary gain, they abandon it. Thus, many gifted journalists are now struggling in various hospitals as doctors. Many gifted teachers and educationists are struggling in the marketplace as marketers. Many who should be writing beautiful poetry are now writing pirated motivational books. This has greatly hampered the full development and realization of human potentials in these parts. Do not be a victim of this status quo.

Money is important; but if you put it first in the choices of life, you have sold your soul to the devil. Yet, money is not even the primary reward for the excellent expression of your talent. The three major rewards for this are:

  1. Glory to God.
  2. Blessing to others.
  3. Personal fulfillment.

Life is spiritual and her greatest rewards are intangible and enduring. As someone has rightly said, "The things that really count cannot be counted." If you excel in your talent to the glory of God, you may not become financially affluent today, or tomorrow, or even in the next five years. Rest assured, however, that somewhere down the road, sooner or later, you will have enough to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

To deploy your talent successfully as a Child of God – a follower of Jesus Christ, shun the money-motive. Think instead on God’s glory. Look at Jesus’ words again:

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
~Matthew 5:16

Your primary motive in letting your light shine should always be to cause men to praise God. As a Child of God, always think of God’s glory. Put God first. Think of how to use your talent to get more people to praise and worship the Almighty God. God’s main interests are the salvation of souls, and intimacy with His children. Consider how you can use your talent to make these things happen for Him on a regular basis. Align your value system with God’s. Think of profits primarily in terms of God’s glory, rather than in terms of cash.

For instance, if you are a model, how can you use a fashion show to draw more souls to God? How can you use it to stir the heart of men to fall in love with God? If your talent is not finding expression in the house of the Lord, the devil will be able to defeat it elsewhere.

The presence of God is your root. The root of a tree is rarely visible, but if you tamper with it, the tree is gone. In the same way, when you let the things of this world take God’s place in your life, you are gone. In every thing that you have, plant its premium portion in God. Serve God with the best portion of your time. Serve Him with the best portion of your money. Root the best portion of your talent in God.

The direct expression of your talent in the house of the Lord for His glory is what I call ‘Talent Tithe’. Create permanent roles and expressions for your talent in God’s house. Let there be something that you do with your talent in every gathering of God’s children. This is like saying that you should create a job for yourself in God’s house. We can see this in those musicians who first invested their talents in the house of the Lord. They are ever green and flourishing in other places. Those who who were unfaithful in the house of the Lord and went elsewhere because of money-motive, are now struggling there in frustration.

The excellent expression of your talent in God’s house for His glory, is the seed of the success of that talent anywhere else.