Author: Brandy Gibson, Creative Director
The Parables of Jesus - Part 5
Growing up, I was competitive, especially with my brother. In my eyes, as my older sibling, he was more intelligent, more athletic, and more creative. He seemed to excel at anything he tried. Chad was especially gifted in math and science, taking AP courses in calculus and chemistry in high school. I wanted nothing more than to keep up with him, so I enrolled in AP courses in calculus and chemistry. Chad went to WVU, and so did I. He graduated magna cum laude, and I graduated summa cum laude—take that, Chad! To be fair, he dual majored in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and works at NASA, and I single majored with a BFA in Graphic Design and don’t send things into space. To-may-to, to-mah-to.
Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
– 1 Peter 4:10-11
I may not have had the best motivation, but I learned a lot of skills in math and science. Before I even graduated college, I started working at a sign company designing and fabricating custom signs. Wouldn’t you know it? I used a lot of math and a little chemistry. While I was working at Sign Factory, I started attending The Ridge, and very quickly, I was drawn in by the creativity and art used to communicate the gospel. I wanted in. I began by volunteering to run the slides on Sunday mornings, which progressed to designing the slides, which led to some bigger design projects, and when a position became available, I was hired. I was thrilled to combine my faith with my work. I felt confident and prepared with my art degree until I learned that this role included set and stage design, which I had zero experience with.

This past Sunday, Executive Pastor Bruce talked about the parable of the ten talents and that we should faithfully invest our God-given talents (Matthew 25:14-30). He said that our talents are more than money—they are the skills, abilities, gifts, and resources that have been given to us. Jesus asks us to invest our talents, not to keep them to ourselves. As Bruce said, “Jesus expects us to steward well the talents He has given us until He returns.”

God has prepared you for many things and has given you unique talents to help lead people to Jesus.

In my case, God had been preparing me all along for the work I would do. I knew how to use tools and build things from Sign Factory because I learned some math and science (thanks, in part, to keeping up with Chad). Those skills made it possible for me to take on a new adventure—designing and building sets. This wasn’t necessarily where I thought I would end up, but all along, God had been preparing me and giving me what I needed to do the job.

Perhaps, you aren’t using all of the gifts God has given you to make a living. Maybe you have much more that comes naturally to you; you can strike up a conversation easily with anyone and make them feel welcome, you are empathetic and a good listener, you thrive in the chaos that groups of children can bring, you enjoy organizing and creating systems, or maybe you can troubleshoot computer issues like nobody’s business. God has prepared you for many things and has given you unique talents to help lead people to Jesus.
According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
– Romans 12:6-8






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