While watching the Olympics recently, I was so impressed with the stellar talent being displayed by these incredible athletes. Some of the amazing acts I witnessed in the gymnastics, swimming and diving competitions were almost hard to believe possible!
Being extremely enamored by these feats of strength and the "ease" at which they were performed, I was continually reminded of this one thing: Their unparalleled work ethic and discipline got them to where they are.
That's right, while they are incredibly talented and gifted by God, it's not just talent that makes them great. It is talent, plus hard work: Discipline, patience, endurance, determination, passion, faith, and the list goes on and on. #
I read a book many years ago by John Maxwell called, Talent is Never Enough. In that book he made a great statement:
In the beginning, talent separates you from the rest of the pack. It gives you a head start on others... but the advantage it gives lasts only for a short time. ...Talent is given, but you must earn success.
You have to DO something with your talent to stay ahead of your game and be successful with it.
I love this quote I found by Leo Buscaglia, Your talent is God's gift to you; what you do with it is your gift to God.
The apostle Paul is a great example of someone who worked hard with the gift God gave him:
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10
Through the grace of God, we have all been given talent -- everyone is special and unique in their own way. The Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image, which makes us all incredibly special and blessed!
We must take what He has given us and develop our skills so we can be a blessing to many.
God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
1 Peter 4:10
You are special. You are gifted. You are blessed. Take what you have, use it and continue to fine-tune what God has so freely given you!
Proverbs 12:1 says, To learn, you must love discipline... (NLT)
Sure the Olympians are extremely gifted and talented, but every individual we watch on that TV has spent more hours practicing than we can ever imagine! While other kids were playing video games, watching Netflix or hanging out at parties, these athletes were working hard on their gifts.
Best selling author Steven King said, What separates talented individuals from successful ones is a lot of hard work.
No matter how much talent you have, it simply will not grow unless you do something with it. Talent must be developed through hard work and discipline.
I'll close with this popular quote:
The grass is greener where you water it. ~ Neil Barringham
Don't spend your time looking at others and wishing your gift was as "green" as theirs. Just get busy watering your gifts and talents and they will surely grow into the beautiful blessings God intended.
Go for it,
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What an amazing time we had in Nicaragua, filled with heartfelt ministry to hundreds of poor children from schools and feeding programs in many different cities, singing our son...
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