The Talent Temptation
And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God...
Hebrews 5:4 (NAS)
God gives each person gifts and talents. Many talents are service-oriented, like teaching, building, farming, cooking, or healing. Some talents are action-oriented for exploration, hunting, even rescue. Others talents are technical, creative, intellectual, or logistical.
Performers have charismatic talents. Charisma is defined as 'extraordinary power and appeal of personality; natural ability to inspire a large following' (Random House Dictionary).
Actors, models, singers, dancers, and athletes inspire us. We are motivated, excited, soothed, and united, or in the worst use of talent possible--enchanted.
The temptation of talent is to enchant followers toward star-seeking, hero-making, fan-gathering idol worship. Media promotes it. Agents hunt it. Studios seek it. Advertisers bank on it. Fans adore it, and God hates it.
Idol worship is deadly. It turns its followers away from God. It turns its celebrity-idols away from God's purpose for their talent; 'Because you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you' (Numbers 14:43).
Celebrity-idols forget the Giver. 'You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?' (Matthew 23:19).
God is the Altar upon which we lay our gifts and talents, because He created them.
If the temptation of talented performers is to bring glory to themselves, the duty of God's performers is to bring glory to their King--to the One Who created their talents.
The only 'enchantment' going on will be wonder at an such unusual action--and curiosity about God among those who have never met Him.
Isn't that the plan?