The spiritual fact that God creates man in His likeness establishes man as unlimited as his Father. Therefore the belief that some individuals have special talents and abilities and that others do not have them and can do little to cultivate them is without basis in fact. "But," one may ask, "does not Paul teach that to each of us is given a special talent to use in God's work?" Let us look at his statement to the Ephesians (4:11, 12): "He [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." True enough. But Paul does not stop there. He continues, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Therefore those gifts, as the apostle calls them, are clearly not ends in themselves, but rather steps toward the final demonstration—the completeness of the perfect man, which he sets forth as our goal.

Well may we be grateful for such talents as we may possess, and surely it is our privilege to develop them as fully as possible; but it was far from Paul's thought that we should limit ourselves or others to any obvious talents. What should be our answer when we hear it said that great inventors are always notoriously poor businessmen, or that artists are impractical, or that musicians lack the qualities that make for a stable and serene disposition? Should we not refuse to accept the belief that a talent must carry with it limitation and, rather, be grateful that it points toward the possibilities of the perfect man?

December 29, 1951

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