“Sundials in the shade” is what Benjamin Franklin called wasted strengths.
I gave a lesson a few weeks ago on developing talents, it’s such a good topic and fun to teach, I want to share it here as a reference, mainly for me. But it’s beneficial for all, religious or not. So here it is in a nutshell… a little long but worth the read.
“Only Those Who Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far They Can Go” ~T.S. Elliot
We were all born with special gifts, talents, and abilities. In Exodus, Moses was a great leader, but he needed Aaron, his brother, to help as a spokesman. Some of us are leaders like Moses or good speakers like Aaron. Some of us can sing well or play an instrument. Others may be good at sports or able to work well with our hands. Other talents we might have are understanding others, patience, cheerfulness, or the ability to teach others.
We have the responsibility to develop the talents we have been given. Don’t hide them, use them. Matthew 5:16- let others see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.
I had each lady write down 1 or 2 talents that they enjoy, then write down a talent they want to develop. Go ahead, do it. As we go through these 6 steps on developing our talents, focus on the talent you want to work on. Writing it down helps it become a goal and a plan to work on, not just an idea.
1. Discover our talents. Evaluate ourselves to find our strengths and abilities. Our family and friends can help us do this, ask in prayer, personality/aptitude tests, patriarchal blessings…
2. Be willing to spend the time and effort to develop the talent we are seeking.
3. Have faith that God will help us, and we must have faith in ourselves. Remember the message from the Little Engine that Could, “if you think you can, you’re right, if you think you can’t, you’re right”.
4. Learn the skills necessary for us to develop our talents. Taking a class, reading a book, asking a friend or professional to teach you. Research.
5. Practice using your talent. Every talent takes effort and work to develop. The master of a talent must be earned.
6. Share our talents with others. It is by using our talents that they grow. See Matthew 25:29- parable of the talents. If we don’t use it, we lose it.
Each person’s talents are enduring and unique.
“The real tragedy of life is not that each of us doesn’t have enough strengths, it’s that we fail to use the ones we have”. ~Marcus Buckingham
Then we discussed the fact we aren’t going to be great at everything we try or want to do, we should discover and develop our natural talents, and our weaknesses will become stronger or less pertinent.
“Some people believe that their greatest improvement will come from overcoming their weaknesses. Buckingham says, No! Your greatest improvement will come from identifying your natural talents and strengthening them”.
We are all mortal and have weaknesses. With the Lord’s help, our weaknesses can be overcome. Beethoven composed his greatest music after he was deaf. Enoch overcame his slowness of speech to become a powerful teacher.
In Matthew 16:27 we are told we will be judged according to our works. By developing and using our talents for other people, we perform good works. The Lord is pleased when we use our talents wisely. He will bless us if we use them to benefit others as we gain joy and love from serving and sharing with others.
Main part of lesson from Gospel Principles manual
can’t have a post without a few pictures…
Surfer girls, doing what the big boys do
Outtakes, this is much harder then it looks, I tried it at the girls request. once. :)
these two hit it off
Josh getting home from a Pioneer Trek, ahh, what a cute cowboy, don’t tell him I said that. He had a great time roughing it with the youth, pulling a handcart each day for miles as they traveled in assigned families in the wilderness. These kids were totally out of their element- away from civilization, no cell phones, internet, or normal clothing (the girls had to wear pioneer dresses and bonnets), away from all the distractions of the world, getting a feel for what the pioneers experienced. What a neat experience Josh and what strength each youth brought as they endured! Josh loved it but couldn’t wait to shower when he got home.
Trevor, not excited at all for football. it doesn’t start until next week, but he had to wear his pads this morning at breakfast. Says he’s breaking them in. :)