Spiritual Leadership Principle- Talents

Spiritual Leadership Principle: If you want to be an effective Christian and leader then you need to know the significance of your talents. This is because when a person puts into action the talent principle they will be moving toward their life purpose and potential. This happens when you find, develop, and use the talents God has given you.

People: The master and 3 servants.

Passage: Matthew 25

One time a man was going on a trip. Before leaving he brought together 3 of his servants and “entrusted” them with different amounts of talent (Money). He gave one servant 5 talents, another 2, and the last 1. The man gave the servants talents according to their “personal ability.” After leaving, two servants went to work to multiply what they had been given while the third hid the talents he was given.

“After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.”

One by one the servants brought the talents to the man. The two who faithfully multiplied the talents they had been given where rewarded for their hard work and where given even more talents. The servant who hid the talent he had been given was punished for not effectively using or multiplying it.

The man conclude by saying, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

A handful of things can be learned from this story and passage. The one I would like to talk more about is the importance maximizing the talents God has entrusted us with. This can be done when we find, develop, and use our personal talents.

Finding

God has given each of us different talents and it’s our responsibility to discover them. I have learned finding your talents is a process. It requires time and focus to fully find your talents. If you want to discover or fully know your talents I suggest these 3 action steps:

  • Get advice- Ask a trusted friend or family member the talents they see in your life.
  • Take a survey- Take strength or talents survey. I have found the Clifton Strength Finder is a great tool in finding your talents.
  • Ask God- Ask and allow God to direct you toward your talents.

Developing

If you want to reach your potential then you need to develop your talents. This requires being teachable, disciplined, and being intentional in your growth. This is what the 2 faithful servants did with their talents. They went to work to multiply what they had been given.

Using

Once you have found and are developing your talents then you need to start using them. To be faithful in the talents you have been given then you need to be using them in some capacity. It might include using them while at work, volunteering, or through a personal blog or website.

Question: How can you apply this principle into your life and leadership?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Bernard Haynes

    You are on the money with this post. I have not fully used my talents because I was afraid of failing, others opinions or I was focused on another person’s talents. I believe part of the man’s problem in the parable was that he was too focused on the man with the 5 and 2 talents that he missed out living his full potential. When we realize it does not matter the size or number of talents, if use what God has given us then He will do great and mighty things through us.

    • Bernard,

      Great point about the man with one talent focusing on the people with more. I agree with you about fear holding people back from using their talents. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • I love this story for its many teachings on the concept of stewardship. The thing that strikes me most is that the wicked servant who didn’t use his talents well did so because he didn’t see God correctly. That’s the key to everything.

    • Great points Loren. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great post Dan, I would have to say I’m working on #2 and #3 and I’m learning the lessons the Lord has for me through the process!

    • Keep it up kimanzi. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  • This story has always been one that has inspired me and challenged me- thanks for the fresh look!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s one of my favorite passages. Thanks for reading.

  • Hi Dan! You know this is a huge subject I come across with my clients. So many times they under value, under estimate, and hide their talents. It’s such a disservice not only to themselves but to God. He gave them to us for good use, for His good works, and I believe it’s our duty to do exactly as you described here. Discover, develop and use. I think it’s a process that never stops, and the beauty is, you grow with God the whole way.

    • Hello Marlee,

      It’s sad so many people hide the talents God has given them. To live a purposeful life then we must start to focus and use our talents. I totally agree with you about the “process never stops” when it comes to developing and using our talents.

      Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • The problem I see working with college students is that they’ve been trained to be “humble” and think that nothing they do is a talent. They are just ok at something. Getting to challenge them and help them see their talents as talents is very rewarding. Sometimes all they need is the belief that they have a talent and they progress through the 3 stages you listed above.

    • I’m sure it’s rewarding after you have challenged them and they then start the process of finding, developing, and using their talents. I think “humility” is essential factor to have while going through the process.

      Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Dan I recognize talents by the fruit they produce. However, It’s important that we embrace them. I have coached many who don’t like their talents. They always seem to want something bigger. A lot of productive time gets lost.

    • what a good word! We always see its greener on the other side instead of doing something with what we got! Just go do something that engages what you do will and I have a feeling that it will invigorate you when you do start using those gifts. Sad to see us battling others rather than growing in what we have been given.

    • Looking at the “fruit” is a great way to find out if your talented in an area or not. The results can tell a lot. Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation.

  • Floyd Samons

    I spent a great deal of my life using my talents for myself only, chasing the wind so to speak. Only true peace and joy from God can be found when we’re doing His will, by serving. Even if we’re the person in authority, we’re serving or using our talents with a servants heart. In the end we are responsible for just that; what belongs to God like this verse suggests. This is reminiscent of King David’s reminder, “All things come from Your hand.”

    • Floyd,

      Being self focused seems to always result in “chasing the wind.” It’s only when we are focusing on other people and “serving” them that true fulfillment comes. It’s hard to do though:)

      I really like the words of King David. if we can remember those words then we can remember that whatever skills or talents we have come from Him and are His. He has just allowed us to be stewards of them for a while.

      Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • Great stuff Dan! I always expect you to bring it! Let me know when your in the OC :) It is great to know your talents and then exercise them and grow and “develop” them! Feels like an easy 1, 2, 3 step process but that developing process is a journey! I am curious, what are your top 5 with clifton???

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post David. Some time in the next few months we should plan on meeting up.

      I took the Strength based Leadership assessment and my top 5 include: Achiever, Maximizer, Individualization, Learner, and Input. I wrote a post about them here, http://wp.me/p1waA2-7G

      Thanks for engaging in the conversation.

      • always Dan great stuff :) I share the maximizer with you–with WOO, includer, positivity, and communication filling in the gaps. I went and checked out the other article and seems like achiever pushes you to keep growing in life and blogging! Keep it up :)

        • Thanks for sharing your strengths/talents. It does push me forward to grow myself and keep writing. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • This is a great post Dan!

    I love the scripture you’ve used today. So often people shy away from using what they have because they think it’s little or useless. We think that it has to be big to be useful or worthy.

    I know that that because it’s something I have to work through often – the feeling of inadequacy that makes me want to hide what i have instead of use it. Yet it is God who gave me my portion and so He expects according to how he portioned it. He does not expect 5talent return where he gave out 2.

    The great thing is that even if I was originally given 2, when i do something with it, i get more!

    Thank you for sharing this, it’s very insightful.

    • Ngina,

      I think it’s something mostly everyone works through(The feeling of inadequacy). It’s all about knowing God has given us talents and that He wants us to use them.

      Thank you for sharing.

  • Brian

    Great stuff, Dan! I often tell people that the core talent they have might be something they haven’t even tried yet. That’s why discovering your talents is so important.

    • Brian,

      Great point. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

  • Well said Dan! Finding your talents is most of the struggle, but once you do, you must put action to them as you’ve pointed out. Without using and refining your talents, your simply burying yourself in the back yard. God gave us all unique talents to bring glory to His name, let us be faithful servants.

    • Thanks Cole.

      I think all three areas are needed if we want to be good stewards of the Talents God has given us. Thank you for reading and sharing.