Ability, responsibility, and the baseball cap.

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Currently, it’s summertime and for many of us that means a family vacation. In prep for the trip to the southern part of the country, I brought “Peanut”, aged 7, a baseball cap. While it looked cute, the main purpose was to help protect his little head from the sun from the hot summer sun. During various points of the trip, I found myself asking and reminding this little one about wearing and keeping up with that hat.

Fast forward to today where it’s raining and will be raining pretty hard all day. In an unsuccessful attempt to dodge raindrops, Peanut gets in the car and I ask:

“Where is your hat?”

Peanut: (quietly) “I don’t know”.

Me: “Hmm..do you know where your fidget spinner is?”

Peanut: “Yes!”

Me: “What’s my point of asking you that?”

Peanut: “That I don’t know where the IMPORTANT things are–but I know where the  not so important things are.

Now I admit his response was pretty impressive for a second-grader. It also sparked a couple of thoughts.

Many of you all listening and reading may be thinking, “well he’s ONLY seven”. “Kids lose things all the time.” “Boys are like that”. “Just get over it..it’s ONLY a cap. Go buy him another hat, Blen.” And I hear these points loud and clear–no doubt. Let’s look at this from a natural and spiritual perspective.
We all have (well, we all should have) a level of responsibility for certain things. While I would not expect an 18 month old child to drive a car, he can pick up a toy and put it back in the toy box upon request. When my daughter was around little–maybe around 16-18 months or so, when I asked her to get me a diaper to change her, she understood me enough to do just that. It was also a sign that she could start to potty train.  And thank God,  she was FULLY trained before age two with minimal accidents.

My point here is that many times, (I know there are exceptions),  children are capable of much more that we think they are. And as parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, godparents–whatever your role is in a child’s life, we should be assigning responsibility to our children according to their ability.  We also need to teach (and consistently reinforce) the consequences to evading our duties as well.  This, in part helps them to grow up as mature, responsible adults– in most cases.  So, now that we’ve looked at this naturally, let’s look at this spiritually.

When someone gives us something, asks us to take care of something, gifts us with something that has a benefit, we have a responsibility with the help of the Lord, to take care of that something. Even if it seems insignificant or not super important at the time, it was IMPORTANT enough to the giver to entrust us with it, so it should be just as important to us to keep and take care of it.

This takes me to one of my favorite stories, the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30.  It’s real, relatable and encourages me to take care of what God gives–not just material-wise, but even the spiritual gifts and talents as well. I plan to give a synopsis here, but please take some time to read the parable in it’s entirety, BCU Fam—it will bless you!

There was a lord that had servants who had to go away for awhile and called in his servants to give them talents to take care of.

The lord gave one servant five talents, another two talents and another one talent. Note he gave out the talents according to their ABILITY, so the master knew what each one was capable of (verse 15).

After a period of time, the lord  returns to see how the servants did with the tasks they were entrusted with.  The servant that received the five talents gained five more and the one who received two gained two more, much to the delight of their lord who told them, “well done, thou good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many. Enter into the joy of the Lord.

When it came time for the servant with the one talent to reconcile, here’s what happened:

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 

25And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 
27So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.
 28Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 
30And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Notice, BCU Fam that the servant was called wicked and lazy because he did NOTHING with his talent. Yes, he knew where it was, but because of his inaction, it was a good as lost, because it was TAKEN away–never to be recovered again. And on top of that–he was cast out where there was  sorrow, sadness, crying and regret. What a tragic ending to this servant’s story and his life!

I say all that, BCU Fam to say this: We should NEVER casually treat what God has given us to do. Some talents, gifts and opportunities that we are assigned, we may NOT be able to “just go get another one”.  We do not always get a second chance. We cannot say, “I was too young” because as our Creator knows exactly what we are capable of—He knows our ability, not age!!! And it is our RESPONSIBILITY with God’s grace and help to do what we can to gain more talents–win souls to the kingdom, excel in the ministry (ushering, praise and worship, cleaning the church, taking care of your family, being a witness on your job, preaching, teaching), what ever God has given! We are to flourish and not to hide or do nothing with our God-given assignment.

I am prayerful this post was a blessing, confirmation and a nudge to dig up your talent(s) and put them to work for our amazing God. I admit that it is easier and more comfortable to side-step our duties now, but inevitably we will have to give an account to God for every thing He’s given us to steward over and I want Him to say, “well done, thou good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a few things and I will make you ruler over many. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord!” That’s something to get excited about, Amen? Amen!

So, what do you want the Lord to say to you? How do you stay focused on your talents? Do you struggle with that at all? Let’s talk more in the comments section below!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!




Series: #SpeechTherapy.. the words of my mouth (part 4)

Hey BCU Family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer (Psalms 19:14).

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about #SpeechTherapy and how it starts in the heart. We looked at the wicked hearts of Haman (Esther 3), and royal couple, Jezebel and Ahab (I Kings 21). Also we looked at some of the effects of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Now that we have our and/or are working on keeping our hearts and minds clear, we want to look at HOW we communicate and the severity of not communicating God’s way.

A few years back, I saw a little bit of a movie called “1000 words” on TV. Eddie Murphy was in it and I believe the premise was he talked so badly and so much, that someone his character  made a deal with had this tree pop up that had a thousand leaves on it. So every time Eddie Muphry’s character spoke a word, a leaf fell off. Once all the leaves fell off, it was time for the character to die, so he got real careful about the words he was speaking —only doing so when needed. (I didn’t see the end so I don’t know what happened).

While this was a fictional movie, there is biblical proof because we also have a responsibility over the words we speak:

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37. 

So, we have to give an account for every IDLE word we speak! The Greek phrase is idle word is “rema argos”, meaning “careless, inactive or unprofitable words.”

How many careless or non-profitable words do we speak daily? I don’t know about you, but now that we know this, it’s time to make sure the words we sow yield a profit. This is not to say we DO NOT speak up against sin, injustices, questioning something that bothers you, get angry, upset, talking a struggle over with a godly friend—if you are discussing it with a pure heart and intentions, the nothing unwholesome will come out of your mouth. When we get bashing, name calling, gossipy, messy, those things that come out of an unclean heart, that’s where the trouble is.

What are some of things that happen when out speech is undisciplined? Loquaciousness— a fancy word for talking too much.

A. Thoughtless talk

A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterward/holds them back (Proverbs 29:11). It’s unwise to just tell people how you feel, give them a piece of your mind, tell them off, I just had to get it off my chest—etc. There will be times where we need to speak up, we just need God’s wisdom and follow His direction for the proper timing.

At had a incident on a job where an individual  seemed like they were playing “stump the chump” with me. In other words, when I gave a directive to the co-workers we were they “overrode” it. In FRONT of everybody.

Now you know, I was as hot as a firecracker on the 4th of July! I’m SOOOO grateful the we took a break shortly afterward and I went straight to the loo and head throne of grace—I needed God to help me with that. That’s a trigger for me—correcting is one thing, but I have an issue if you’re trying to embarrass me by challenging what I’m saying in a certain authoritative tone and manner. No ma’am, no sir.

So anyway, I’m not sure if co-worker sensed something or the Lord tapped them on the shoulder, but they did come and ask me was there anything they could have done differently or something like that. And with God’s grace I politely told them person what they did. They assured me it wasn’t intended that way and somewhat straightened it out, (I’d have done things differently), but that ok, the Lord worked it out. Who knows what would have come out if I had said something right in front of everyone..I may have compromised my witness, displeased God, had to be chastened for disobedience.

#Bottom line: We may be justified in feeling wronged or angry about something, we need to pause and pray before we say.

B.  LONGGG talk

In the multitude if words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

Do you know anyone who just talks, talks, talks, talks, talks? Do you play “dodgeball” when you see them, hoping to avoid a long, drawn-out, fruitless conversation? Do you already have something planned or time your meeting with Chatterbox so you have to go by a certain time OR are you the CHATTERER? It’s one thing if we are talking about things that are wholesome and edifying, and no, everything is not serious, so laughter is in order as well. For many of us who avoid the Chatterer, the CONTENT of the conversation is repetitious, long-winded, disjointed, hard to follow, can get gossipy, slanderous, messy, details get added…and idle words can creep in.

This Scripture is not dissuading us from talking to someone about concerns, situations, seeking godly counsel, or venting. We want to be sure to take things to the Lord first, ask Him IF we should talk to so-and-so and THEN tell your story with as much brevity AND detail as possible. Before you launch into your story, ask the person if this is a good time or how much time they have.

We talk about that in a class at work and to be honest, until I started teaching that concept, I don’t know if I was ever conscious about checking with people time wise to see if it was a good time for THEM. I just plopped on down and started talking! We don’t know the responsibilities the hearer has and how flexible they may or may not be. Maybe you didn’t come up for air long enough for hearer to say, “I have a doctor’s appointment in 30 minutes.” Then we feel gypped because we didn’t get to tell the story or feel hearer is insensitive or doesn’t care. Did you care to ASK the person, “do you have about 30 minutes or so, really need to talk this out?” Is it really an emergency, or can you pray and wait until hearer can get settled so they can give you undivided attention?

And this extends past talking to friends…what us speakers who are allowed 10 minutes to give a reflection or speak on a topic? We launch into 3-4 choruses of a rousing song that goes 7 minutes and then you want to start the clock for your 10. Or we start to tell an unrelated story with a lot of detail and then go into the topic. Not right. Yes, we have to allow for the Holy Spirit to have His way—as long as the Spirit is moving, then we yield to Him. It’s the flesh aka the tongue or a spirit of pride and disobedience where we feel it’s okay to take more time. This effects others who have to speak or carry on part of the program after you. Think of the person who is last on the program, spent time and effort to prepare their work, only to have it cut to two minutes because it’s time to go? This is a matter is respect and obedience. Philippians 2:3 says let NOTHING be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other not highly that yourselves. Think about the other person before yourself.

#BottomLine: talk long, talk wrong!

This week, with the help of the Lord, let’s pay attention to the triggers—the things that set of our impatience/hasty speech patterns —what is it about the slow speaker that really bothers you? How is it that cutting someone off, interrupting a conversation or changing the conversation to what YOU want to talk about giving God glory and helping others. How did we make the other person feel? You don’t care? God does and we will have to answer for it. Let’s start minimizing our account and  ask the Lord to help us not to be reactive in the mouth, rather to handle the situation HIS way. Amen? Amen!

Thank you so much for tuning in and until the next time we are together, #StayOnTheWall.