By Rudolf Illavsk√Ĺ

But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us... (2 Corinthians 10:13a)


The Holy Word of God declares that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29). Since the gifts and calling are of God, there is no sense in comparing ourselves to one another.

Romans 9:20-21:
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

God, the all wise Creator, forms each human for his special purposes and gives gifts in proportion to this forming. From birth on we are called to fulfill certain duties to the glory of God. Even the man who was born blind in John 9 was set for a special manifestation:

John 9:1-3:
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

The most important calling of all times was on our beloved Lord Jesus.

John 3:17:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Everything good and bad that happens to us - the place where we are born, our parents, the schools we go to, the friends with whom we hang out - is used by the Lord to form us to the person he wants us to be.

Romans 8:28:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God knows our abilities, talents and strengths because he has given them to us. He then gives us work that is according to those abilities, talents and strengths.

Philippians 2:13:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Let me use an example. Suppose that God were to give you the talent to write good music. That does not mean you will necessarily write good poetry as well. That is a different talent altogether.

Your God-given duties will correspond to your God-given abilities, talents and strengths. He will equip you to do whatever he has called you to do. In some ways, it is the same principle as God’s provision regarding human temptation. You will never be faced with a temptation beyond your ability to endure (1 Cor. 10:13). Likewise, God will never ask you to do something he will not make you able to do. Think of Peter walking on the water.

Whether you have few or many gifts, you will only be asked to give what you have received.

Luke 12:48b:
... For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Naturally, the one who has received much should not consider himself better than the one who has little. The giving of gifts is according to the Master’s prerogative.

1 Corinthians 4:7:
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

The sovereign master distributes his talents with wisdom. The servant receives exactly what he needs in order to fulfill the wishes of the master, no more or less. He who receives much, must therefore bring proportionally more fruit. He who receives little is expected to produce less. Yet every man is expected to make the most of what is given him. In that way, he will be a good and faithful servant.

Matthew 25:21:
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

And be sure, no person is forgotten, the master gives to everyone, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).

After the resurrection of Jesus, Peter was very concerned about the duties of another disciple. Peter asked Him, “Lord, and what shall this man do?” (Jn. 21:21). Notice what Jesus told Peter:

John 21:22:
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

In essence, Jesus told Peter, “Do not worry about him (the other disciple who happened to be John). Mind your own business and follow me.” This is a great lesson for us all. Instead of looking at others and wishing to be like them, having their gifts, let us be content knowing that God made us the way we are! Get your eyes off other men and “let none of you suffer ... as a busybody in other men’s matters” (1 Pet. 4:15).

Galatians 6:4:
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

Revelation 22:12:
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.



From the April 2004 issue of The Vine & Branches