Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Don’t Waste Your Talents

One of my favorite stories to tell took place in early 2010. My then-husband and I had just moved back to the States from Germany. I’d been staying in Germany for six months and even though I was excited about coming back to America, I was already missing the quiet pace and overall feel of Europe. Nevertheless, I was back home and we’d finally agreed to stay at my mother’s house until he started his new job. He’d already been hired, but the program he was entering wasn’t going to be starting for a few months and we needed somewhere to stay in the meantime.

My mom is a single woman who was always working two jobs to make ends meet so we didn’t want to be a burden to her in any way. I was unemployed and still somewhat new to web design, nevertheless, I marketed my newly acquired web design skills each and everyday hoping to bring in some extra cash. At that time, I only charged $150 for an entire seven page website, so it goes without saying that any penny I earned was swallowed up pretty fast. Additionally, I was only getting maybe one order every other week and each client was holding on to me for two or more weeks requesting changes and add-ons, so I knew I needed to look for another avenue to make some extra cash.

One day, I noticed that the refrigerator was empty and I did not want my mom to take on the challenge of trying to fill it; after all, not only was my ex and I living with her, but both of my siblings were there as well and nobody was employed. I hated feeling like a burden and so did my ex, so I went online looking for other avenues I could take to earn some extra cash. That’s when I found myself on Craigslist.

On Craigslist, I came across an opportunity that I could not resist. Some guy had posted an ad looking for writers to write e-how articles. In his ad, he said he didn’t care what the articles were about, just as long as they taught people how to do something. He was paying $4 for every 500 word article he received. I was ecstatic. I loved to write and writing had been one of those talents that I’d pretty much buried. Knowing that I could dust off my writer’s cap and make money doing something I loved to do seemed too good to be true. It goes without saying that I contacted him immediately and he hired me to write for him.

After he hired me, he said something he would later regret. He told me to write as many articles as I wanted on anything I knew and just as long as they were original articles and they were 500 words long, I’d earn $4. He would pay me everyday or every other day.

The day he had to pay me over $300 was the day he realized how hard a hungry man (or woman) will work to feed himself (or herself). That’s when he decided to put a cap on the amount of articles I could submit, but I wasn’t phased at all by his decision to do so by that time because I was able to tap into and rebuild my confidence in the writing arena. This opened the door for many new opportunities in the field of writing. At the same time, I was able to fill up our refrigerator a few times before he placed a cap on my writing. Sure, four dollars doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but it’s money nonetheless. I can’t express to you how great I felt standing in line at Walmart with a basket FULL of food. I loved to witness the look on my mother’s face when she came home from work and realized that she didn’t have to settle for a peanut butter sandwich.

The point is… all of us were given one or more talents by God. The problem with the average person is he keeps burying his talent(s) simply because he’s too greedy and wants more money than what’s being offered for his unrefined talent(s). I accepted four bucks and that one opportunity opened so many doors for me that allowed me to establish myself as a writer and earn money from that one talent. It was then that I realized the value of the talent.

Every coin has a value; for example, the nickle is worth five pennies. The quarter is worth twenty five pennies or five nickles and the dollar is worth one hundred pennies, twenty nickles or ten dimes. Additionally, each coin allows you to purchase whatever is within its price range. It comes together with other coins, adds up and allows you to purchase more things and things of greater value. The same goes for our God-given talents. When you build on a talent, you cause its value to increase; for example, I went from being an unskilled writer to a professional writer over time. Additionally, when God sees you using your talents, He adds on to those talents and this helps you to earn more money in less time. It also teaches you a lot of much-needed lessons about yourself and the areas where you need deliverance.
I stopped burying my talent, only unearthing it to do a few web design jobs here and there, and I started building on it. Before this happened, I had already started writing for Examiner, but I felt constricted with them, plus, I wasn’t earning even ten cent per article, so being given the opportunity to earn more without the restrictions was a huge opportunity that I could not resist. I continued writing for Examiner for over five years because I wasn’t writing for the money; I wanted to share what God was teaching me. Sharing the gospel only made me learn the gospel more and that’s what grew me up, woke me up and placed me on the right path.

What are your talents? If you don’t know, the answer is just a prayer away. Build on those talents and stop burying them. Be sure that you use them for the Kingdom of God, otherwise, God is not obligated to increase your finances; instead, He will allow you to hone your gift, while you look to the enemy to pay you for those gifts. It doesn’t matter what your talent is… build on it! One of my mother’s talents is sowing and every since I’ve learned the value of the talent, I’ve been on her case about tapping back in to that gift, but because she’s worked so hard for so long, she’s become workplace-minded whereas she now trusts more in companies and organizations than she does in what God has given her (I’m still working on her). This is really common. You can get so caught up in weekly or bi-weekly paychecks that the idea of tapping in to your talents begins to look too much like wasted time when it’s not. People of God… build!  Your talents are your tickets to wealth. Stop making another man look good while you build his company and start using what your Father gave you!