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Using your talent

Published: 1 January 2013 (GMT+10)
123rf.com/Shi Lehui

A New Year is upon us! It has become a popular custom that many people make a New Year’s resolution, setting out a personal goal, a project they would like to complete, or perhaps a bad habit that they would like to break. Personally, I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because if there is something that you need to change in your lifestyle to serve God better, you shouldn’t wait until the New Year to do so—and a recent survey showed that 88% of people don’t even keep them.1 However it is a good opportunity to focus the mind on how we could better use our talents in the year ahead.

In Matthew 25:14–30 we can read the Parable of the Talents, in which Jesus teaches on what He expects from Christians as we faithfully wait for His return. It is not to be a period of inactivity, but one of going about the Master’s business as diligently and forthrightly as we can, using our ‘talents’. In the parable, “Though a talent is not a capacity or skill, as in the English usage, nevertheless the English meaning is useful because in the terms of the parable the monetary represents far more than money. It stands for the sum of all our God-given abilities, resources and opportunities.”2 Jesus teaches that all Christians have been given different degrees of responsibilities and abilities, and that He expects us to use them wisely to further His kingdom.

Looking back

2012 was yet another big year of pushing the evolution story and the ‘religion is evil’ mantra. For example, the artistic representation of North American ‘feathered’ dinosaurs, hoping to persuade people of a strong evolutionary dinosaur-to-bird connection, or the ‘pragmatic atheist’ Richard Dawkins’ book tour, promoting his latest call for abandonment of faith, The Magic of Reality, targeting both the young and old. Thankfully both of these examples were more than adequately responded to by people who are using their ‘talents’, but much more can be done!

Dr Albert Mohler points out that, “Evolution is the great intellectual rival to Christianity in the Western world. It is the creation myth of the secular elites and their intellectual weapon of choice in public debate. … They are using all the tools and arguments at their disposal to discredit any denial of evolution and to marginalize voices who question the dogma of Darwinism. They are working hard to establish unquestioned belief in evolution as the only right-minded and publicly acceptable position. They have already succeeded among the intellectual elites. Their main project now is the projection of this victory throughout popular culture.”3

Pressing forward, gaining ground

As Christians we should be examining ourselves rigorously and asking, “In this debate am I using my abilities, resources and opportunities to my full capacity in a way that would please Jesus?”

In this very contemporary and relevant war of competing world views on our origins (Creation or Evolution?), every battle and every soldier counts, but the soldier needs to be at the right battle line. This is clearly one of today’s major battle lines and there are many practical ways for everyone to get involved in some way, for example:

  • Share creation.com ‘business’ cards.
  • Give out creation tracts or booklets.
  • Read on the subject yourself so that you know the relevant points and can talk with people about them.
  • Place Creation magazines in public places e.g. waiting rooms of doctors/dentists, etc.
  • Show creation videos to your friends, family, or home-group.
  • Organize a CMI speaker for your church, youth fellowship, etc. You can request a speaker.
  • Run a stall at a country fair or festival promoting the Gospel and Creation apologetics. Here is one example. Some have built a model of Noah’s Ark as an effective drawcard and talking point.
  • Use Facebook to share articles or videos on creation.com with friends.
  • Teach Sunday School or children’s club using creation materials.
  • Teach your own children/grandchildren creation apologetics.
  • Give gifts of creation books or videos.
  • Teach school scripture classes, incorporating the creation message (but you might have to be circumspect in the way you do it).
  • Encourage your local Christian radio station to play CMI’s 60-second radio spots.
  • If you have an area of expertise then why not use your knowledge and write or speak on it?

There are many good Christians who have sincere faith in the biblical account of creation, but unfortunately they don’t defend and promote it. James 2:14 says, “What good is it my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works?” God expects our faith to be demonstrated by our actions.

Resolving to engage

In 2013 what actions will you and I take to ensure that we are using our abilities, resources and opportunities to stand and defend at the front line of the battle, where the world is attacking the Gospel—at its very foundation?

You know what talents, abilities and resources you have been granted; will you use the opportunities provided in 2013 to combat today’s greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration,4 namely the evolutionary dross which is an attack on the Bible? Will Jesus be able to say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?

What on earth are you doing, for heaven’s sake?

References and notes

  1. See Lehrer, J, Blame It on the Brain: The latest neuroscience research suggests spreading resolutions out over time is the best approach, 26 December, 2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612052322122442.html, accessed 30 November, 2012. Return to text.
  2. Terry Johnson, The Parables of Jesus, Christian Focus Publications, 2007, p. 396. Return to text.
  3. See http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/02/01/creation-vs-evolution-the-new-shape-of-the-debate/, accessed 7 December 2012. Return to text.
  4. Clarke, C. L., Evolution and the Breakup of Christendom, Marshall, Morgan & Scott Ltd, London, 1930, p.36. Return to text.