On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 29: Time and Talent III

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 RSV)

We are accountable to God for what we do with whatever He has entrusted to us. Christ says, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” This includes the gifts of the talents given to us. What talents have been given to you by God? Do any of the following describe you?

The Holy Spirit enables some individuals to motivate, direct and inspire God's people in such a way that they voluntarily and harmoniously work together to do the Church's work effectively. This gift involves being able to put things together, tie up all the "loose ends" and get things done and setting a pattern for others to follow. Perhaps you are good at financing, planning, organizing, delegating responsibilities and problem-solving. If so, these can be indications of the gift of administration.

Some persons are called to stand beside other people who are in need and bring comfort, counsel and encouragement so they feel helped. To exercise the gift of encouragement is to call forth the best from others. This gift involves helping others to be more dedicated in living out their faith, bolstering them up when they are discouraged or downhearted and challenging them to see the goals to which God calls them. Do you have the gift of encouragement?

The Holy Spirit leads some individuals to aid in giving hope to people who are sick. To exercise the gift of healing is to pray not necessarily for a cure but for God's help for the sufferer, that something of good may come out of the distress. This gift involves a healthy prayer life, confidence in God's power to provide courage in suffering, and wellness of spirit regardless of the condition of the body or mind. Perhaps you have the gift (or talent) of healing?

A concern for the comfort of others may be a gift of hospitality. This talent involves having a knack for making people at ease, enjoying being in the presence of strangers and a welcoming spirit. Do you have the talent of hospitality?

Some have the gift of the ability to assume responsibilities involved in decision-making for the good of the parish and the Church. Such gifts are used in parish councils, for example, to help make the best decisions possible. Do you have the gift of leadership? More examples of God-given talents next week.

This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

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