Most people have a fairly unique talent that may be viewed by others as particularly odd. At least, I hope that describes most people because of a peculiar talent I have.
I try to keep my little stretch of road clean by picking up the trash several times each year. Some travelers are just trashy and I find a lot of trash, even if I'd just recently made a pass.
Over the years, this has helped me develop a keen eye for trash. Even a small piece sticks out like a sore thumb.
Often, while walking across the right-of-way to pick up something I saw from a distance, I come across little pieces nestled in the grass. Sometimes I find an apple core or banana peel. I leave those because, although they look out of place, they don't have a negative effect on the environment.
As bad as it is, roadside trash is nothing compared to the amount of trash the world practices as sin, or the problems sin causes, but there are similarities.
We have all inherited a degree of the knowledge of good and evil from Adam — But not the ultimate penalty for his sin because each person sins in their own right and receives the penalty for that (Genesis 2:25-17; 3:6-12, 22-23; Romans 5:12; 3:23; 6:23).
Still, while many times the sin is recognizable, sometimes it's subtle because it's not well defined in the Bible and falls into the category of "and the like" (1 Timothy 5:24; Galatians 5:19-21).
To understand what “and the like" means in regard to sin (so that it will stick out like a sore thumb), we must develop the talent to distinguish good from evil through regular study of God's word, like my keen eye for trash that was developed by regularly picking up trash (Hebrews 5:11-14; 2 Timothy 2:15). Distinguishing good from evil also means turning away from even the appearance of doing evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, KJV; 1 Peter 2:12).
(Maybe eventually people will stop throwing trash out of their car.)
While God's thoughts are different than our thoughts, through personal and corporate Bible study, Christians can gain enough insight to learn how to please God by distinguishing good from evil (Isaiah 55:8-11; 2 Peter 1:3-11; Ephesians 3:4-5).
That's something non-Christians cannot do because his Spirit doesn't reside in them (1 Corinthians 2:11-16; Acts 2:38-39).
The purpose of God's word is to let us know the redemptive love expressed through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection and the difference between sin and righteousness so that we can avoid the ultimate penalty for our sin (1 Corinthians 15:21-23; Revelation 20:11-15).
We only benefit from the crucifixion when we turn away from evil and do good (James 1:22-27; Romans 6:3-18).
The talent for distinguishing good from evil should be peculiar to every Christian (1 Peter 2:9-10, KJV; Ephesians 5:8-17).
And because non-Christians cannot develop that talent completely, it's incumbent upon Christians to explain the way of Christ more correctly to them (Acts 8:30-39; 18:24-26; Matthew 28:18-20).
What's your peculiar talent?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at