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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time, Talent, & Treasure: What It Reveals About Your Character

What we pay for, invest time in, and volunteer for speaks volumes about what we value. So it is true for our characters. (click to tweet!)

It was quite catchy to hear it stated that this is our TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE.

It's easy to use money as an indicator of value. It's measurable in a dollar amount, and one can erroneously conclude that the higher that amount, the greater the value placed on what was paid for or contributed.

But that's not the case. Wealthy individuals can give money that cost them virtually nothing, and certainly don't convey what they are passionate about. I know individuals who sponsor children for about $30/month....and this costs them. They feel every dollar they give.

Time can be measured, as well. Hours, days, weeks. Volunteering for something you're not passionate about makes the hands on the clock s l o w down....while volunteering for something you are passionate about makes them fast forward. 

What's not so easy to measure is talent. It goes hand-in-hand with time, as it takes time to give of your talents to any endeavor. But we don't give or our talents and gifts equally. We pick and choose when and where and for how long we'll serve in a given capacity.

For example...I sing and play the piano. I value my commitment to church, and so therefore give of my talents there and sing in a praise team and play the piano ever-so-often when called upon or there is a need. I don't get reimbursed for this time.

If I were to be asked to play for a wedding of a close friend, it would be my joy to serve them with playing and/or singing. However, if I were asked by someone I didn't know, I'd definitely charge for this time and for the use of my services.

The difference is that my values come into play. My value of friendship or of my faith makes the same talent offered different.

So here are some questions to ask your characters, in no particular order:

1) What types of fund raisers would you be most likely to ignore or most likely to participate in? Why? (those magazine scams, gift wrap, band booster candy bar or gift wrapping sales, giving money for the kid with cystic fibrosis whose family placed a jar next to the cashier at the grocery store, supporting a university alumni association, etc)

2) What non-emergency would make you dip into your emergency fund to give to others? (friend needs rent money or they'll be evicted, you see a homeless man on the street, etc)

3) What would compel you to give up a Saturday or an evening after a hard day's work volunteering Why? (manning a soup kitchen for an hour, helping a friend move,

4) When you aren't at work or home, where do you spend most of your time? (shopping centers, church, bar, friends' houses, etc)

5) What hobby of yours would you let a friend/loved get for free that you normally make other people pay for? Why? (i.e., beading, event planning, playing the flute, landscaping, etc)

Moral values play a huge part in what characters support with their time, talent, and treasure. (click to tweet!)

Let's Analyze

What are some other indicators of something you value?