ENJOY YOUR GIFTS AND USE THEM TO HELP OTHERS
Perhaps you have been following the news about the conviction of a group of internet hackers. In 2011 these "cybercriminals" infiltrated a number of high security systems, causing not only damage to the organizations involved, but also distress to people who lost money and privacy.
According to some reports, one of the main motivations behind the attacks was so that the hackers could demonstrate their abilities. Allegedly they did what they did because they could. Their obvious giftedness was not used for the common good, but to show others how clever they were.
Why should our talents be used to help other people? I guess, if we think there is no God, then it may not matter: what we have is for us to use in the survival of the fittest. If, however, we receive giftedness from outside ourselves, it's another story.
The Bible tells us about some believers in the Greek city of Corinth who thought that their abilities were mainly for their own enjoyment. It was a way of boosting their own image and credibility. The Christian writer Paul told them that giftedness is a blessing from the Spirit of God. Their particular set of abilities and talents was not their own because God had given it to them for a reason. The reason, said Paul, was to edify others. Of course, use the gifts, he continued, not just for yourself, but also for the betterment of your community and society in general.
I think there is a principle here for all of us. What good is it to keep your giftedness exclusively for yourself? You have been given talents, not so that you can hack destructively into the lives of others, or so that you can feed your own vanity, but rather so that you can build up people around you.
Whatever our gifts are, let's enjoy them and use them to encourage others.