On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 28: Time and Talent II

“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)

A Christian disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we are tempted to prefer a comfortable and convenient discipleship. However, Jesus says, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Christian discipleship involves sacrifice. When we make a conscious decision to follow Jesus Christ, no matter the cost to ourselves, we take on the lifestyle of stewardship. A Christian steward is one who realizes the fact that everything ultimately belongs to God. Even we ourselves belong to God. 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.

God has made you a steward, or caretaker, of your life, your time, your health, your education, your material things, your relationships, and your personal talents. Being a faithful steward thus also means:

1. We gratefully accept the talents that God has given us.
2. We take care of those talents and develop them.
3. We give those talents back to God for use in bettering the church, and the world.

If the Church is going to fulfill its mission in the world, and if the world is going to become a better place, we must be good stewards. Part of our task in becoming good stewards is to put our talents to good use and leave the world a better place than we found it.

But some may ask, “How do I know what talents I have to share? How do I use them in the Church?” A talent may be identified by answering these questions: Is my talent something I can do or learn easily? Do I feel strong when I do it? Does this talent come naturally to me? Does this talent bring joy to me and to others? Do you look forward to carrying out this talent? Does time seem to fly when you’re doing it? After you’ve expressed your talent do you feel fulfilled? After you’ve expressed a talent do you look forward to doing it again?

Those questions may help you identify your talent. Next week we will answer the question, “How do I use my talents in the church?”

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

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