Sharing Our Talents

When I was asked to speak at a recent conference, thoughts of self-doubt crept into my mind, “What if I’m not eloquent enough in my speaking? What if I get too emotional or forget what I most wanted to share?” Immediately this scripture popped into my mind, “But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.”

I pondered on the meaning of the word “talent” and felt to search further. A “talent” refers to a very large sum of money in ancient times. In the parable in Matthew 25: 14-30 a talent can symbolize “something of great value,” such as the gospel or blessings, gifts, abilities, and opportunities the Lord gives us. 

In Matthew chapter 25 we read about the parable of the talents:

Verse 18 “But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.”

Verse 25 “And I was afraid , and went and hid thy talent in the earth.”

How often are we afraid to be vulnerable and share our talents – to the point that we hide them? We literally hide our stories of repentance and progress because we are afraid of what people will think!

I do not believe the scriptures would include so many accounts of how people changed, healed and repented if it wasn’t something that God wanted us to know and learn from.

There are many scriptural stories of prophets who faltered, sinners who repented and others who felt inadequate to lead and teach. These examples are helpful reminders in our day.

You have a story to share. A repentance story. A forgiveness story. A healing story.

A valuable talent can be how you came to know Jesus Christ through overcoming sin, rebellion and doubt. Or how you felt strengthened as you allowed Him to change your heart. Others may not have stories of sin but of enduring life challenges such as loss, abuse, divorce, or a health crisis. The point is, each of us has had to learn, grow and change in order to come unto Christ. We are individually unique in our experience but our challenges and growth are relatable to others with similar difficulties.

WE ARE INSTRUMENTS IN THE HANDS OF THE LORD

With the Lord’s help, we can have a change of heart and learn to become more like Him. This change doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t easy. As we evolve and learn, we are able to lift and encourage one another by sharing our journey of change and healing. We don’t do this by presenting ourselves as someone who has never stumbled or transgressed. We also don’t need to be stuck on sins of the past but focus more intently on the process of healing and becoming. Seeing how far we’ve come and what we’ve learned. In Alma 36:17-19 he describes remembering his sins, but that only made him more excited about how much he’d changed and improved!

In Alma 26:13, I love the way Ammon glories in the Lord, “Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?”

Did I have the courage to share my story of returning to Christ in that recent conference? Yes! People can feel inspired and hopeful when I recount my journey from doubt to faith, pain to joy, weakness to strength, sin to discipline and pride to humility. Especially if they have loved ones who have wandered and are lost.

This is the journey of becoming. Allowing Christ to comfort, heal and strengthen us. The gems along our path are the major turning points of how we choose to change.

Whether we share our talents of learning openly or privately, through speaking or writing, we are meant to share them as we bear one another’s burdens and offer hope to those within our reach.

~ Michele Brown September 2022

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