A native of a distant mountain village had the opportunity to visit a large modern city. He was utterly amazed by everything he saw. There were so many cars, buses, and other forms of transportation. The roads were wide and smooth. The buildings were enormous. Food, clothing, and other useful items could be bought at almost every store. But out of everything he saw, the one item that amazed him the most was the light bulb. He found it fascinating that he could flip a switch and the bulb would produce light. Though he didn’t have much money, he decided the best purchase would be on light bulbs and switches.
When this man arrived back at his village, he began hanging the light bulbs all over the village. Many asked him what he was doing, but he excitedly told them just to wait until it got dark. Once night came, everyone watched as he flipped on the light switches. Nothing happened. Despite his incredible interest in light bulbs, no one in the city had thought to tell the man about a little thing called electricity.
The light bulb is one of the most ingenious inventions, but it’s completely worthless until hooked up to a power source. This is so true for most of our lives, especially in our age of technology. But it extends beyond technology into our spiritual lives as well. In Christianity, God is our power source. We all have talents and abilities. You have a skill set unlike anyone else, but if these skills are not used for the Lord, then what good are they ultimately? What good is it to be talented in speaking, teaching, singing, planning, leadership, or some other area if it doesn’t help people outside of this life? If our skills aren’t used for the Lord, then they are worthless in the grand scheme (Colossians 3:17). If not used for God, nearly everything we do in life is, as Solomon said, “Vanity and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-18; 12:8).
In the parable of the sower, Jesus clearly taught that we should use what God has given us for His glory (Matthew 13). Every single person has special abilities that can be used to bring glory to God. Everyone has something to contribute to God’s kingdom. Talents and abilities not used for God are about as useful as a light bulb disconnected from the power source. The question is, are you hooked up to the power source?
How will you use your talents and abilities to bring glory to God this week?