You may have heard it said that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. There are people who have acquired a skill, and work hard at it, that out perform people who are gifted and talented naturally with the same skill. I’ve learned that if a person will exercise or use their natural, God given talents, they will exponentially increase in their effectiveness. A person who isn’t naturally gifted with something will have to work much harder to increase their effectiveness, but they can do it. In both cases, it’s a matter of using that skill often and learning how to be more effective with it. That’s where the hard work comes in. The problem is that many people become lazy with their God given talents and don’t work to improve what seems to come naturally.
When David was just a boy, he killed a lion and a bear. That’s God given bravery and talent. Most of us would run the other direction in those circumstances, but he went at them. He used what God put in him. I can also imagine him practice his slingshot skills while he watched the heard. It takes hard work to aim one of those, and he was clearly ready when the time came for him to face Goliath. That skill, combined with his God given talent of bravery and fighting is what caused people to rally behind him. He didn’t just sit on his talents, he used them often to expand the territory of Israel. It wasn’t until he stayed home from using his talents that he sinned with Bathsheba. Instead of going to the war, he stayed behind.
In Romans 12:6, Paul writes that God gives each of us gifts and talents. He then goes on to say, “So if God has given you the grace-gift of prophecy, activate your gift by using the proportion of faith you have to prophesy” (TPT). He says something similar in the next verses about other gifts. We activate them or increase their effectiveness when we use them. Too many times, we’re like the person who buried their talent (a term for money) and didn’t increase its potential because we didn’t do anything with it. Whatever gift God has given you, it’s time to dig it up and use it on a small scale. Remember, we have to be faithful in the little things first before he can put us in position to do greater things. Look around you today and find at least one instance where you can use your God given gifts and talents.