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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Sunday, 1 September 2013


‘Australia’s Got Talent’

‘Australian Idol’

‘The X-Factor’

We probably all know the names of these T.V. shows!

It seems today, that the whole world has gone crazy over talented people, and that most people are in desperate pursuit to find fame, fortune, and worth as a human being from their talent, or more specifically from the world!

Now I am not saying that talent is a bad thing…because that would be wrong!

It would be wrong, because God Himself gives us talents, and we are made in His image!

He tells us in His Word, that we are NOT to be ashamed of our talents, rather we are to use them for His glory!

And really this is where the problem lies…because once again it comes down to a matter of the human heart!

Personally, I was born with genetics from both sides of my family line that contain people with artistic abilities.  Therefore I was considered a ‘natural’ when I began dance classes at the age of eleven, and even though I did not start ballet until 12 years of age (which is considered late) I ended up becoming a professional dance teacher.  I can sing in tune, and feel most comfortable with arts subjects.  However this does not make me superior to anyone else!  And it does not make me a good person, even if I may seem likeable J

I remember listening to a wonderful speech by Cameron Russell, who says that she won a genetic lottery, and how that models although perceived as ‘having it all’ are actually mostly self-conscious…you can watch it here…

I can relate to feeling insecure…I never won the grand finale of a talent quest; I struggled with my weight, and personal relationships; I was not accepted at most auditions; I still am not a great academic writer, or an exceptional artist…so you see there is always a flip side to how we perceive our worth when we compare ourselves to the world’s standards!

Idols, they come in many shapes and sizes…when we go shopping, my kids and I cringe at the idol statues which seem to be everywhere!  But even if we don’t have them in our garden, we can have them in our heart, when we elevate people and their talent to that of more than what they are!  Indeed, as I have said, talents are a blessing from God that we can celebrate, but they should be used to glorify God, and the praise should always go to HIM!

“That’s a bit legalistic!” Perhaps some people may think…but I don’t agree, I think it’s the truth!

God needs to be number one…are you teaching this to your kids?

Believe me, from someone who has experience what it’s like to be considered talented…when you’re not the exact thing being looked for at that exact time…you are discarded!  I often, OFTEN hear people saying to kids, do what you’re passionate about and I think, well how about first being passionate for God, and then waiting to see where He leads you using the talents He gave you!

Sports Stars, Business Tycoons, Models, Artists, Singers, Musicians…what happens when their time is up…when the unthinkable injury or illness occurs…or they just are too old…or they’re just not the latest star?  What happens to these precious individuals, uniquely made by God, when they’re faced with NO?  What happens to their self-worth, when all that they were, or what they thought made them special fades?

My heart aches when I see some parents pushing their kids to pursue their talents, in what’s really a seedy, money hungry, abusive world, above seeking Christ and His will for their life!  But it seems many people are in denial, because they don’t really know what it is like.  Will they listen to someone who has decided to get out of it?  Maybe not, as the lure of fame and money is so strong, and for the reasoning that; ‘We just want our kids to be happy!’  Meaning that they think financial security will provide their kids with stability and happiness!

Jesus Himself said… ‘For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’  And this is in 3 gospels!  Matt 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25.

Really the proof is out there…just take a look at poor Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus and that is only three of the more current headliners!

I know this is a long post for me, but I will finish soon with the assertion that Godly Character is to be prized above talent!  I repeat Godly Character is to be GREATLY PRIZED above talent!!  And I will even assert this above academic pursuits!  Yes I will!  For I would rather my child to be a child of God, working honestly than a corrupt MD!  I would rather my sons be disciples of Jesus, who provide for, and protect their families, above being an absent business director who drives a sports car!

How do I end this passionate appeal?  Perhaps with ‘Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness’ Matt 6:33.  This is not an out-of-date appeal it is the truth!  Yes celebrate your child’s talent, but ALWAYS point them towards the one who gave them the talent!  Do not push your own ideas onto your child, or let them run head-on into the crazed highly sexed world.  Raise them with Godly virtues, and the discipline of prayer to seek God’s will for their life and usage of their talent!  For we are to be a light in the world!  We are to be in this world, but we are not to be of it…do not be fooled, the temptations are real and so enticing! And this is what God is saying in Revelation 18:4 with the warning to come out of the world and to NOT participate in its sins!  We cannot be a light while participating in the promotion of sin!
In love, Melanie.



Chris Jefferies said...

Great post, Melanie!

There's a lot of truth and good advice here, we sometimes push our kids too hard and too fast. Character is definitely the most important thing.

The fruit of following Jesus is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

As Paul wrote almost 2000 years ago, there's no law against stuff like that.

Melanie Baker said...

Yes Chris, and we must keep nurturing the fruits as much as we can be a tricky balancing act at times, but we can't grow weary! Cheers!

Chanda Griese said...

Having a few talented kids of my own, this post has got me I tell them what they are passionate about or seek Christ and His Kingdom and He will show them what to do with the talents that He's given them?

Louise Ross said...

Hi Mel - great post. We should always encourage people to use their gifts and talents remembering with humility that they were given by God and should be used for His Glory. This is also true for those reluctant to use their talents - God wants us to use what we are given.

Melanie Baker said...

Hey Chanda, I find it interesting that in scripture Paul says to the younger Timothy 'Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.' As we don't hear this said to young people today. It is SO tricky being a mother! I think that our role is to be faithful, and train up our children to love and obey the Lord above all else! I don't think there is anything wrong with building our children up with praise and encouragement and by acknowledging what their talents are, but ultimately we should encourage them to seek God's will for their life and use of their talents...cause that's His call! If we can focus on keeping an open, trustworthy relationship with our kids and they come to us for Godly counsel when they are older, it would be wonderful to sit with them and pray together about it and encouraging them to grow in their listening to God, rather than the world or their peers.
Love Melanie :)

Melanie Baker said...

Indeed Louise...'my utmost for His Glory!'

Sarah Kate Frey said...

Lovely, Melanie! I grew up as a dancer, and dreamed of being a professional ballerina. But I was forced to give up dancing for health reasons when I was about 15. It's important that we don't find our identity in our talents, but that we find our identity in the Lord who has blessed us with our abilities, and use those skills to glorify Him!