Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 5 February 2015

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”- Mark 4, verses 21-23.

If you’re a football fan, this is the week of beginnings and endings.   The ending, obviously, comes with the Super Bowl: the culminating event in the American football season.   Playing in the Super Bowl is the ultimate dream of every football player, especially those who are just starting out in Pop Warner, middle school or high school districts. On the other side of that spectrum is National Signing Day, which was yesterday.   That is the day when prospective high schooler’s identify which schools they would like to attend (and represent on the football pitch).   99.8% of the young men who sign to go to college won’t play in the NFL, let alone in the Super Bowl.   But I think it’s a safe thing to say that many of them dream of doing it.   They have talent, and this week is the start of their journey towards making that dream come true.

You could say that these young men were meant to play football.   I love watching the sport, and I wish now I had played more of it when I was younger.   I didn’t have that kind of talent, however, and my future probably would have still found me where I am today:   blogging, working as a project manager, and looking to open a vineyard.   Those are where some of my talents lie, and here’s a news flash about our talents:   they are gifts from Jesus that He intends for us to use in furthering His kingdom.   The kids signing for college and the men who battled in the Super Bowl were using their talents as well, though it’s up to them whether or not they used them for the furthering of Christ.   You have talent too; what are you doing with it?

There’s another lesson to be had here: nothing is truly secret. What is secret MUST be brought out.   Hostile secrets are anathema to human nature. They were meant to be revealed.   That isn’t endorsing gossip: it’s explaining human nature.   Humans aren’t meant to keep secrets because secrets eat you up from the inside out, especially if it involves our wrongdoing.   We fool ourselves into thinking that we can do things that nobody will ever learn about.   God isn’t nobody and He already knows when we do them.   If you stop to think about it, even when we confess terrible sins, the healing almost always begins because of it.  That is human nature.

Not only, but if we keep our talents secret, and if we try to bury them or deny them, it’s like we’re spitting in God’s face.   He gave us these abilities to use them in ways that spread His message to others as well as bettering ourselves in the process.   If we deny those gifts, aren’t we subtly denying God as well?   I love football and I love the thrill of sports, and I love doing what I do best (even if it isn’t football), and I love getting right with the world.   But I don’t want to ever spit in God’s face.   He’s far too good to me.

Lord, let me use the gifts You give me as You intend.

Read Mark 4, verses 24-25.


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