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Unrewarded Talent


   When you travel extensively and labor in the vineyard of noble causes long enough, you will find yourself meeting and working with a variety of persons who possess incredible gifts and talent. Often these persons will be humble and discreet volunteers or low wage workers. They seemingly appear invisible until those moments when their talent comes to bear on a problem (like when your computer crashes or your car breaks down); then, for a special moment, they become indispensible in your life.

   God instills special talents into each of us. Many of us are fortunate enough to have had parents, teachers, coaches or mentors who recognize our gifts and provide opportunity for us to develop and display them in front of others. Some of us are able to actually realize public acclaim for our gifts, and perhaps parlay them into a living or riches.

   But to most people in our world their talents go virtually unnoticed and unrewarded in life. Whether through poverty, personal hardship or lack of opportunity many a person lives a life where their uniqueness and genius goes without acknowledgement or profit.

   Unrewarded talent is one of life’s great tragedies. It is also humankind’s most powerful latent asset. Discovering, unlocking and developing the unique talents of each of God’s creation is essential to successful living.

   Perhaps you know of a talent you possess that needs to be nurtured. You meet people well and are a problem-solver at work and long for a promotion, but are afraid to get the necessary credentials or to ask your boss for a chance to do something new. Maybe you secretly have developed a craft or skill and make incredible items but you are afraid others would not be interested in buying them. Don’t let your talent go unrewarded; step up and take a chance. Much talent goes unrewarded because we lack self-confidence or cave-in at the first sign of ridicule, rejection or failure.

   Unleashing our talents are our solemn responsibility and part of stewardship to God. If you can sing like a bird but don’t join the choir or make a sad person smile with a song; what good is your gift? Use it. Share it. Cherish it. Make something of it!

   We also have to become encouragers and mentors to others and help them discover and develop their own gifts. Classroom teachers quickly see the uniqueness in their students. It is often the simple notice and affirmation of a teacher that sets a young person on a life course of success with identified talent. Compliment others and validate the skills you see in others; just a small compliment may be just the fuel someone needs take a chance.

   Our world faces immense challenges. We need to unleash the God-given talents, great and small, of all those around us. Start with yourself and let your light shine. We need scientists, chefs, artists, engineers, teachers, farmers, inventors, musicians, welders, ministers and caregivers. We need new leaders and writers and programmers. We need good moms and dads and neighbors.

   When true talent is rewarded and people are affirmed, economies grow and crime and poverty diminish. When true talent is discovered and allowed to shine, then the problems of life get solved.

Put your talents to good use today in a new way. And affirm the unrewarded talent you notice in another along the way.


Joe Turnham has gained a national reputation both as a political figure and tier-one consultant to a myriad of clients. Joe’s services are in demand nationally as a consultant, speaker, political advisor and commentator. Click here to learn more about Joe.

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