Sermon: The Talent Trap
Scripture: Hebrews 11 / Judges 13-16
ICE BREAKER: Who is the strongest person you have ever known? What was their greatest feat of strength?
This week, we looked at the life of Samson - one of Scriptures most obvious heroes. He was the strongest man to ever walk the earth. His resume is filled to the brim with feats of strength that are out of this world!
God gave Samson a specific purpose before he was ever born. Samson's people, the Israelites, were oppressed by the Philistines. God told Samson's parents that Samson was meant to save the people from the power of the Philistines.
That is the key part we usually miss when we tell the story of this Biblical hero. We go straight to the feats of Strength and miss out entirely on the actual Significance of his life. This is what we are calling THE TALENT TRAP!
We are all searching for identity and often the easiest thing to root it in are the things we excel at. Maybe you are really smart or quick witted and you have taken that on as a persona. Perhaps you are good at your job and you have begun to see WHO YOU ARE through the lens of WHAT YOU DO. The problem we saw this week is that you are not a human DOING, you are a human BEING!
The Talent Trap is when we confuse our Talent for our Purpose. This is like confusing the Tools in the garage for the Project you want done in the house. Your Talents are tools for something grander, something bigger than yourself, and in the case of a Christ follower - something eternal!
When we learn about Samson, we learn about his Talent. However, in his own life we see him falling into the talent trap himself. Not once, but TWICE Samson ends up with a Philistine woman - the same Philistines he was purposed to conquer. Samson was literally sleeping with the enemy and it cost him dearly! His second Philistine lover deceived Samson and she learned that the key to his strength was in his long hair. While he was sleeping, she cut his hair and handed him over to the enemy.
There is a reason we call it the Talent TRAP! Perhaps you have been stuck in it before. Your skills made you prideful and your pride led you to places you never thought you would go. Your ability to manipulate others became a part of who you are - you always get your way but at the cost of other's trust.
It wasn't until Samson was humbled and fragile that he was ready to leave the Temptation Trap and get back on the Heroes Journey. God was gracious and gave him an opportunity to defeat more Philistine's in one moment than he had the rest of his life combined. No matter how long you have been trapped by your talent - finding your identity in what you can do instead of who God is calling you to be - it is never to late to live a Heroic Life!
What would you say your biggest talents are?
How much have those talents defined you throughout your life?
What skills are you in danger of finding your identity in?
HERE IS THIS WEEK's APPLICATION QUESTION:
What is the ONE AREA where you get trapped by your talent?
AND What is ONE WAY you will work to escape the Talent Trap?
God has blessed each of us with unique gifts.Take some time to thank God for the talents he has given you and the people around you. The key to escaping the TALENT TRAP is to look at your skills and ask, "How can I use this for God?" Take some time to ask that question to GOD and be still as he speaks to you through His word, those around you, and even a still small voice!