We 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 teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Leo Buscaglia (1924–1998), an author and motivational speaker said, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” John Wooden (1910–2010), a basketball player and head coach agreed with Buscaglia, but amplified on his saying when he wrote, “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” Undoubtedly people must use their gifts wisely and not be conceited.
Erma Bombeck (1927–1996), a humorist, cast further light on talent when she commented, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ In order to accomplish such a feat people must live their lives to the fullest.
The Role of Persistence
A president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933) observed, “Noting in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Stephen King (b. 1947), an author however echoed Coolidge’s sentiments when he said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” And Will Smith (b. 1968), an actor concurred when he stated, “I have always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.”
A Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thích Nhăt Hanh (b. 1926) reasoned, “When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection: love is born.” So people ought to share their talent with love.
Corruption in Society
A vice president of the United States, Joe Biden (b. 1942) saw, “Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity: already – tight national budgets, crowding out important investments. It wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs.” Therefore for nations to benefit from the contributions of its citizenry having ethical standards are imperative.