What to Do with Unused Ability
By Rick Warren
“When the master comes and finds the servant doing his work, the servant will be blessed” (Luke 12:43 NCV).
All of us have unused abilities. But there are three ways that you can start cultivating your abilities so that they are being used for good and for God’s glory.
1. Estimate your abilities.
Do an assessment of your life. Do an audit of your abilities. What are you good at? Make a list. If there’s one thing I could say to young people today to prepare for their future, this is it: Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses. Consider the capabilities God has given you.
Parents, help your kids understand their SHAPE — their Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. Your children have far more abilities than they think.
2. Dedicate your abilities.
Commit them to God for the use he intended. Romans 12:1b says, “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him” (GNT). Say, “God, you gave me these abilities. Now I’m going to give them back to you. I want to use them for the purpose for which you gave them to me.”
3. Cultivate your abilities.
That means practice, improve, sharpen, and develop. Any ability that God has given you can be increased with use. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 10:10, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success” (NIV).
How do you get skill? Practice. God says you need to sharpen your ax. A dull ax takes more energy. He says to work smarter, not harder. Sharpening your abilities — your aptitudes, your skills — is a spiritual responsibility.
God has invested enormously in you. First, he created you. Second, he shaped you with spiritual gifts and personality. Then he sent Jesus to die for you. God has made an incredible investment in your life! And he expects a return on the investment. He’s going to ask you one day, “What did you do with what you were given? How did you use your abilities to honor me, to serve others, to make a living, and to be an example? How did you use them to help other people?”
In Luke 12:43, Jesus said, “When the master comes and finds the servant doing his work, the servant will be blessed” (NCV). I want you to have that blessing. I want God to find you using your abilities in the ways that he intended.
Talk It Over
Take time to thank God right now. Thank him for the abilities he’s given you. Say, “God, I don’t even know all the abilities I’ve got, but I thank you for them. Help me to discover them. Today I dedicate them back to you. I want to use what you’ve given me for your purposes. I want to cultivate my abilities. I want to get better at what I’m doing. I want to honor you by being the best I can be. I want to use my abilities to honor you, to serve others, to make a living, and to be an example. I want to use my abilities to have money to share with those who are poor and to help my church grow and reach out. Help me to make it so. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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