Sunday, September 14, 2014

Talent and Jealousy

"We all have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  if your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teaching; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, the give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8

God has all given us different gifts and talents.  At youth group tonight, the message was on using our talents for God's glory, which is an important topic, and likely one that I'll write about again.

But I'm going to draw a tangent from the typical "spiritual gifts" conversation.

The main thing that hit me tonight, during the message, was not that I should be better using the gifts that God, although that is true.  No, what mainly stuck out to me is that I need to love the talents God gave me, and stop desperately wanting the talents that other people have.

It's not that I need to give up trying to be good at things I enjoy, or give up and stop trying new things.  It's more that I need to stop being jealous when people have gifts that I want.  I should embrace the gifts God gave me, and stop longing to have the different talents that God has given other people.

Take singing for example.  Yes, I'm one of those people who can't sing.  Now, that doesn't keep me from singing, in the slightest.  I still raise my voice to worship God.  Does it sound good?  No.  But I still sing.  The problem is that I'll fall into this jealousy when I hear other people sing.  Instead of just enjoying their voice, I'll think wow, I wish I could sing like that.  Why can't I sing like that?  I wish I had their voice.  I wish I was talented like they are.  And so on and so forth.

I don't want to think like that.  Not at all.  But it's something I slip into all the time, and I realize that it needs to stop.  It's not just with singing, either.  It's the same with running, or writing, or dancing, or playing sports.  I constantly want the skills that others have been given, and it's not healthy.

I need to come to peace with who I am.  I need to accept the talents that God gave me, and come to grips with the fact that no, I may not be as good at those things as others are.  I may never be the world's best writer.  That shouldn't stop me from sharing my stories with the world.  I won't be the best runner.  But that shouldn't stop me from completing that marathon someday (and yes, I am going to do that someday.  Hopefully within the next five years.)

My point is, God has gifted each and every one of us in different, amazing ways.  And we need to embrace those gifts, instead of wanting others.  Because I truly believe He gave us what we have for a greater purpose.

And I can't wait to discover mine.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Those living in America know that this is tragic day for our country.  Today, September 11th, is the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the two towers in New York.  I'd love to say that I think it's gotten better since then, but sadly, I don't believe that at all.

I was watching the President's Address on TV last night, where he was addressing the threats by ISIS.  For those who don't know, they are a Middle Eastern terrorist group who are currently responsible for the death of several thousand people, many of whom are Christians.  The death toll is rising, and will continue to rise if they aren't stopped.

In the address, the president said that America would take action against them.  But in reality, they're not planning to do much.  We're not actually fighting them.  Yes, we are taking some action, but perhaps not enough to actually make a big difference.

It frustrates me that our country isn't doing much to stop them.

I've been reading through Romans lately, and today, the chapter for me to read was Romans 13, and the beginning of this chapter stuck out to me, especially with everything that's going on lately.

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment upon themselves." (v.1-2)

It's funny how God provides just the right scripture for me to read in different situations.  I would say that it was a crazy coincidence, but I don't believe in such.  I think God has everything happen for a reason.

But anyway, into what these verses are saying.  They're saying that we should honor the authorities, because God has established them.  It's not saying that he have to like who's in charge.  It's saying that we should still respect them and obey them, or else we will bring judgment upon ourselves.

I may not agree with the government's stance on some things.  But that's okay.  As long as I respect those over me and obey their laws, I'm doing what God has commanded.

However, I will continue to be praying for those suffering overseas, and I encourage you all to do a same.  Terrorism is at a high right now, and those who fall victim to it need our prayer.  I pray that God will cause us to step out of ourselves, to set aside our selfishness, and try to help those who really need it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

I've been wasting my life away on meaningless things lately, and I've started this blog because I want to focus on the important.  I want to focus on my walk with God, on the things I write, on the relationships I'm forming.

I'm not much of a writer.  Not yet.  So I ask you to bear with me as I start this blogging experience.  It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but I've never found the time to do.  I admire people who blog every day, and I always think that I could never do it. "I'm too busy," I say.  "I have too many classes, too much homework."

But this morning, I realized that it's not about not having the time.  And those are just excuses.  Because when it comes down to it, I do have the time.  What about the hour I spent on social media each day?  What about that time spent in front of the TV or playing video games?  Do I really need that?  In all honesty, wasting time like that isn't fulfilling.  Sure, it's nice to enjoy laziness.  It sure feels nice while you're doing it, but afterwards, I always feel frustrated with myself.

The average life is 657,000 hours long.  Simply put, that's not a long time.  We all need to learn how to manage our time to honor God - because we don't have much of it.

This morning, I made a list of things that I wanted to cut down on.  Sadly, it wasn't hard to come up with over half a dozen things.  It's easy to spend my free time enjoying laziness!  That changes now.  The next list I wrote was one of things that I wish I had more time to do.  Everything from learning the guitar, to writing more books, to daily Bible study and prayer, to, yes, blogging.  This list was even longer than the first.  There's so much I want to do with my life.  So I'm done wasting my time.

I want my life to honor God.  So, I'm going to try to cut down on the things in the first list, and enjoy some of those things in the second list.  I want to make the most of the time I have.  After all, I don't have long.