This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:
Scripture: “Put this money to work until I come back” (Luke: 19,13)
"On earth we all fulfill the task set us by God. Each of us has been given a talent for a specific purpose. Our life and everything given to us with it is a talent entrusted to us. Our life does not belong to us. It has not been given us in order to live without cares and in comfort for a few years on earth. No, after death we will have to give a true accounting of how we used our life to the One from whom we received it. It is our task to “put to work” everything that we have, so that nothing is lost.
“We often hear about the importance of our final hours. But life itself is as great and important a task. When we die we return into God’s hands His gift of life, and if we have lived a worthy one, death is victory, a freeing of the soul from physical earthly bonds, and an awakening to a new, full and true life. The great task is to live in such a way that all of God’s gifts be used for an “increase in wealth”, and that on Judgment Day we encounter without fear the all-seeing eye of the Lord and give an account for the use of everything which we received at birth.”
This is what Lewis writes in the chapter on Charity in “The Four Loves”, where he speaks of natural Gift-love and Divine Gift-love:
"…Divine Gift-love – Love Himself working in a man – is wholly disinterested and desires what is simply best for the beloved…natural Gift-love is always directed to objects which the lover finds in some way intrinsically lovable – objects to which Affection or Eros or a shared point of view attracts him, or failing that, to the grateful and the deserving, or perhaps to those whose helplessness is of a winning and appealing kind. But Divine Gift-love in the man enables him to love what is not naturally lovable; lepers, criminals, enemies, morons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering. "
So I guess the gifts we are given we should use, using Lewis’s terminology, as natural or Divine Gift-loves, whichever is appropriate to the circumstances.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)