Stewardship: Time and Talent

Genesis 49:18

Those who are strong, attractive, or talented often find it easier to trust in themselves than in God, who gave them their gifts. Remember to thank God for what you are and have so your trust does not become misplaced.

Exodus 28:3

All of us have special skills. God wants to fill us with His Spirit so we will use them for His glory. Think about your special talents and abilities and the ways you could use them for God’s work in the world. A talent MUST BE USED or it will diminish.

Corinthians 12:4-7

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manisfestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Romans 12:4-8

God gives us gifts so we can build up His church. To use them effectively, we must (1) realize that all gifts and abilities come from God; (2) understand that not everyone has the same gifts; (3) know who we are and what we do best; (4) dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not to our personal success; (5) be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God’s service.

God’s Gift of Time

Listen to what you say about time. Instead of talking about “spending,” or “wasting” time, try “taking my time,” about something you value and “sharing time” with someone you care about.

Use simple rituals to mark transitions. Say a brief prayer when you wake up, bow a ceremonial good-bye to your office at the end of the day, wash your hands when you get home, insist on a hug before your kids tell you what went wrong at school today. Take time to savor traditional rituals such as grace at meals, and be creative about new rituals that match your non-traditional life.

Claim some quiet time as you start and end your day. As little as three minutes of reflection, prayer, or stretching exercises will rejuvenate your spirit and increase your physical energy. (But be prepared for the possibility that you will like this quiet so much that it will grow on you, and before you know it you’ll be peaceful for twenty minutes a day.)

Turn down the sound. Turn off the radio in the car, the kitchen, or the bathroom. Jog without your portable tape/CD player. Choose one evening a week to leave the television off. Notice what it feels like when you can hear yourself think.

Learn to say “Yes.” Look for the things you really want to do, the commitments you really want to make. Now ask yourself, “What must I refuse or discard in order to do what I choose?” The answer may be a habit, a hobby, or a chore which no longer enhances your life.

Get to know other people who are ready to claim time as God’s abundant gift. Meet with a buddy or a support group. Dare to tell someone else that you feel overwhelmed, uncertain, or just plain tired. Tell each other stories about what helps you relax and concentrate and about what you are saying “Yes” to.

Include sabbath time, rest time, time for family and friends in your plans. Dignify these important plans by including them in your calendar and treating them as very important and must do commitments.

Give thanks regularly and frequently for God’s abundant gifts. Say thank you for crescent moons, a good laugh with friends, a juicy melon, even the morning you oversleep and discover what it feels like to wake up rested. Say your thanks quickly and naturally, in the moment when you are enjoying the gift. The habit of noticing abundance will spread through your life.

The above is not a “To Do” list. Try out some suggestions, experiment to find what enriches YOUR LIFE, and notice which choices allow and create abundance for you. In the natural course of time, allow yourself to be more and more open to accepting God’s abundant gift of time.

Borrowed, with credit to Deborah Gavrin Frangquist

– Click here for a “Talent Survey.”