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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thoughts from the Past – According To Our Abilities

This is a photo of me working on my wedding outfit in Tennessee in 2008.

First posted in Oct. 2011. Edited.

Here is another old blog post that addresses the issue of how we are all different in our abilities before God.  This goes well with the post from last week.

Nov. 14, 2006

According To Our Abilities

My friend, Cindy, wrote to me not many weeks ago and shared this very comforting thought relating to a situation that came up for her:

"I made 3 pairs of curtains for [my husband's] dad's house in less than 24 hrs. We picked up a portable machine to sew on at Wal-Mart... Funny thing, Mary, about this is that making these was harder than any I had made before. I was very apprehensive prior to working on them. I happened to read the parable of the talents and noticed the phrase about the 2 who were given talents according to their several ability and got some insight that the Lord gives gifts as He sees fit and didn't give the workers a job they could not do. I had never thought of the parable in that way. It doesn't say inability there. This helped me and God gets the glory for my efforts which turned out fine despite my not knowing ahead of time if I'd succeed at this project."

Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

I also noticed this verse during our family Bible reading and remembered Cindy's letter:

1Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

This is good news. Our kind Lord will not give us a task for which we are not prepared or that we cannot accomplish with the abilities He has given us. We need not worry that He will give us something "too big" for us, but we also need not fret because we can't do this or that like someone else can.

I have personally had people tell me on more than one occasion that they wished they could play the piano. In at least some cases I know it was not possible for them to have learned that and/or it was not an ability that God had given them. According to what we read above, they can be content that their abilities are just as useful to God as anyone else's, even if they can't play the piano. And, if the Lord wants them to play the piano, He will provide the ability. I once knew a lady who started taking violin lessons at 40! :-)

These things apply to many areas of life. I suppose we can all think of some ministry or ability that we would "like" to have.  We may also feel weak in areas where we feel "too much" is required of us. We would do well to remember that God gives the abilities and the opportunities to use them. We can rest in His wisdom in this matter.

This is not to say that we should not use discernment in matters. People can and do allow themselves to be pressed into doing things they ought not to do. God will give understanding in these situations too. Remember there is a difference between what He requires of us and what man will try to require of us. We must cast ourselves upon Him for leading in this matter as well, and ask for His wisdom.

Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.


  1. Yes. This is so true. Sometimes I receive custom sewing orders and I wonder how I will ever get them done. But I have given my sewing over to the Lord and trust Him to bring along jobs I can complete and usually when I sit down and tackle them, the Lord helps me figure it out as I go and it doesn't turn out to be as bad or hard as I thought it would be. Sometimes I finish a job and hope I'll never have to do anything like it again, too!!! The Lord does stretch us, but He also knows our abilities and He is very faithful to give us all the knowledge and help and guidance we need WHEN we need it. He truly is GOOD.

    1. Amen! Sometimes it really does stretch us, but not above what we're able to do with His help.