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During a recent showing of Family Feud, Steve Harvey began talking to his audience about the importance of using God-given gifts to achieve success. “Every living soul God created at birth,” he said, “He gave all of you a gift. All of you in this room are gifted. All of you are gifted. Listen to me. All of you are gifted individuals.” He also made an interesting distinction between talents (which are personally cultivated) and gifts (which are God-given and innate). “Be very careful with what you’re talented in and passionate about. They sound like the same thing. What you are gifted at is your quest,” he warned.

Harvey further illuminated what he meant by “gifts” over talents by telling the audience a story about his friend that was nicknamed “Clipper.” According to Harvey, Clipper had earned the nickname because he was always busy cutting someone’s grass when they were kids. Charging $2 for the front and $2 for the back, Clipper was gifted in making patterns in the grass, despite having only a push mower.

At 62 years of age, Harvey noted that Clipper now owns his own landscaping business that makes $4 million a year and has all the big summer and winter contracts. Steve Harvey then contrasted his friend’s success in cutting grass with his dancing talent. Although Clipper loved dancing and was good at it, he did not pursue it with the passion that he did cutting grass. In pursuing his gift of cutting grass over his dancing talent, Clipper had found success.

Steve Harvey did not elaborate specifically on how his audience would be able to tell whether their love of something could be distinguished from it being talent or a gift. If success results from using God-given gifts properly, then Steve Harvey has undoubtedly done so. Well-spoken and often eager to give advice, Steve Harvey has made a very successful career out of his charismatic personality. His latest “Judge Harvey” project has just been renewed for a second season.

The show brings people with disputes to “Judge” Harvey, and he helps them work through their problems using his own experiences. Of course, Biblically speaking, although everyone has God-given gifts, using them correctly is not always a guarantee of worldly success. Hebrews 11 has a whole slew of righteous people gifted in faith, yet “having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” (verse 39). Despite these things happening, Hebrews 11 ends positively, encouraging others to be like these spiritual giants, knowing God was using them to plant for heavenly success. So even if you’re not making $4 million a year like Clipper or a multi-millionaire like Steve Harvey, you can look back on people like Moses and Samson and know that God can help you use your gifts to lay the foundations for His perfect plan.

Cecilia Buchanan is first a follower of Christ, wife to her wonderful husband, and blessed mother of three beautiful girls. She is an avid Inklings nerd and would spend all day reading if she could. She has a passion for writing about Christian living and culture, homeschooling, and adoption.

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