Are You Running From Your God-Given Gifts?
As Christians, there are a few things we need to know; especially if you have the assignment to transform society through media, entertainment or the arts.
What is our role as we seek to be faithful to God in all that we do? How can we fulfill our role in our communities, our cities, our nation, and our world?
While the video is indeed a funny spoof, it is not a laughing matter that so many Christians have looked down on the use of the arts and/or the marketplace as a legitimate form of ministry.
If Christians embrace ALL of the variety of gifts God has placed on the earth, the result will be greater creativity and increased human flourishing. Therefore it is important to acknowledge:
1. God has given us a job description that infuses our work with our purpose.
Because of the spiritual/secular divide, some believe that some things we do in life fit exclusively on one of two lists. To simplify, the spiritual stuff you do in life matters to God, and the secular stuff doesn't.
The problem with presenting the Kingdom in this way is that it diminishes our reach into the world and leaves the Christians without a traditional role feeling frustrated, guilty, and insignificant. Because of this division, most creative people have reduced their gifts to the status of hobbies for fear of being ineffective or, even worse, prohibited.
We must realize that the dismissal of any area of God's creation prohibits the integration of Christ in all aspects of our lives. This rejection could also result in weakening the church and leave an enormous mission field ignored.
2. Diversity is a biblical premise of creation.
We are born with different gifts and everyone is gifted. This means that each of us has a distinct opportunity to contribute through our S.T.A.G.E: Skills, Talents, Abilities, Gifts, and Experience.
3. Focusing on our gifts and talents allows us to unleashes our advantage and bring value by serving others.
It seems that the early church had no problem doing just that. From Michelangelo's creations to Bach's music, art was one of the "go-to" channels used to shape the culture to pursue faith.
Today, most churches don’t think twice about neglecting the visual arts. This abandonment not only represents a missed opportunity to present the Good News in an embraceable form but also creates an unbalanced feel to the Gospel—especially when you realize God sent an embraceable, visible form of Himself to SHOW the world.
4. We need to broaden our definition of Christianity.
Faithfulness to God requires Christians to embrace biblical principles and truths which could sometimes alter our traditions and concepts of what Christianity really means. This includes embracing the arts, the marketplace, etc. as a God-given resource that allows us to pursue our purpose and spend our time, energy, talents, and money.
“Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”--Leo Buscaglia
We come into the world loaded with gifts. Whether you use them or not, they are still there. In the parable of the talents the one with the most was celebrated, but what some people miss in that story is the fact that he was given more, therefore, the expectations would be even higher. It is no secret that, nowadays, the most gifted individuals also tend to experience a great deal of inner turmoil. This is because creativity is borne out of a deep need to express ourselves.
It is time to stop running and/or having a clearance sale offering our gifts and creativity to the devil. Who is with me?