8 Min Read

G1D2 — Given One, Deliver Two

Published on

May 29, 2023

Humans are indeed wonderfully and fearfully made, fashioned excellently and gifted for good works. Not convinced? Searching or scrolling down any social media platform would reveal individuals who have honed their gifts across different spheres, winning awards, breaking and creating new records, or just displaying mind-blowing and creative stuff. It does not take too much observation of humanity’s wonders to conclude that “God dey create.”

As one ponders on this phenomenon, here are three (3) concise thoughts in light of scripture that may induce humility and circumspection; three (3) thoughts that may engender relief and responsibility.

The first thought is somewhat apparent: these giftings and talents are not manufactured independently but come from God. Inherent in the term often used to refer to these talents and bearers of said talent, i.e. gifts/gifted individuals, is the implication or idea that these individuals did not create these talents for themselves but were said talents were bestowed as gifts. In addition to the fact that God formed each and every one of us for specific purposes (Jeremiah 1:5), the Bible records in James 1:17 that every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. The root terms for a gift in this verse of scripture are dosis (meaning a giving) and dorema (meaning a benefaction, a bounty) — I know, I know, it is so close to being DoRiMe, but it’s pronounced Do-Ray-Mah 😅, and sadly it’s not a case of Tomato To-Mah-To. We Move! Both ideas in this verse imply the distilling of skills, characteristics, and attributes that would ideally take lifetimes to put together or master and endowing such a bounty on an individual for free! Completely free; otherwise, it would not be a gift. Such a humbling thought!

The second thought is that it is a principle in the Kingdom that everybody gets something. Like the famous lingo, “gbogbo wa la ma je breakfast”, e go reach everybody. The parable of the talents, as recorded in Matthew 25 and Luke 19, starts with the phrase “…the kingdom of heaven is like…” to paint clearly what the parable communicates. What we see in both instances is that talents are given to all the servants for free — like we established earlier — and according to their abilities (Matthew 25:15). While the original Greek terms used in these parables allude to the “talent” being “a hefty sum of money” (especially in the Luke instance), it would be good to keep two things in mind for context.

Firstly, these were parables, so interpretations were not always literal. Secondly, money or skill, the bestowing of said hefty sums implied an unusual (and perhaps unfair) advantage in one area or the other. With this in mind, it then becomes interesting that every servant got something, and the concluding verses of the parable imply that those who “do not have” or rather, thought they did not have, even that which they have would be taken from them — indicating that they had something which could be taken. As such, while it may be relatively easy, and even tempting, to ask “God When?” or begin to “think about our lives” whenever we observe displays of God-given talent, the reality remains that we are all carriers of different gifts and talents. The reaction should then not be “God When?” but perhaps “God How?” or even “God Wow!” — but this is gist for another day. Regarding the tempting slope of thinking we are not gifted like some of the individuals we observe, we may sometimes need to relax and drink milk — the Peak Peek in You type.

The third thought is that while these gifts are without strings — as seen in Romans 11:29, which is, perhaps, one of the reasons why both believers and non-believers appear to be gifted alike — these gifts are not without an expectation of use and a return.

I would use a recent conversation with a “favourite tribesman” to attempt to paint this picture. I know the streets have been full of “imagination wan…”, but humour me again and imagine that an uncle (or aunty 🙃) gifted you a car, a driver and an endowment fund to cover the car fuelling and the driver’s salary. However, for whatever reason (perhaps village people 🤷🏽‍♂), rather than use said gifts, you would instead drag molue (i.e. the yellow Lagos bus) every blessed day on your way to and from work. Now let us flip the script and imagine that you were this uncle/aunty who, on a random drive out of your estate, saw this nephew/niece of yours actually dragging molue at the bus stop. How would you react?

On the one hand, it’s a gift, so it is implicit (unless stated otherwise) that the bearer may do with it as they please. On the other hand, there is an expectation that, at the very least, put it to good use. Similarly, the gifts of God, bestowed without repentance and under the jurisdiction of the bearer, are nonetheless not without expectations — that is to say that there is an expectation of use and profiting from said gifts.

The G1D2 (Given 1, Deliver 2) framework, as coined by my employer (who happens to be a Senior Pastor), is simply that if given one, the very least acceptable is that you return two, not one. It is a system that ensures that each team member is utilizing their gifts and actively involved in value creation towards a defined goal. If secular systems have performance tracking systems to ensure that each team member is optimized, how much more is the Kingdom of Heaven? Come to think of it, even God’s word does not return to Him void; it does not return to Him the same way it left! How much more His Gifts?

We would close this out along the lines of something Pastor Dami has spoken passionately about; the idea of Christians being the “timid ones” due to pseudo-humility or ignorance is not scriptural. This phenomenon is often the result of a discounting of that which we have been given/gifted, especially in comparison to a perception of other giftings. This, in turn, results in a burying of gifts in one’s tent.

As we go into the week, here’s a soft reminder that there is an expectation on that which you were gifted, that which you may have buried and forgotten to drag molue with the rest of them. So, what’s that you have in your hand? Or perhaps, what’s that buried in your tent?

Itoro Nehemiah


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