“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Gift (n): A natural ability or talent. Note the word natural. Natural (adj.): existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind. We each are born with certain gifts that are our natural ability or talent not caused by humankind but by God! Why then do we struggle so much against using our gifts? Many times we fight against our natural abilities because we are trying to measure up to other people’s gifting! For example, that person you look up to is better at public speaking and you, are deathly afraid of it! You may find yourself thinking, that person on Instagram is way better at photography than I will ever be! But, what about YOUR gifts? You may not be good at public speaking, but you are really good at talking and encouraging someone one on one over coffee. You may not be good at photography, but you may be good at drawing pictures of people. I know you have heard this a thousand times but we are asked to use our talents that God has given us (Matthew 25 14-30)! However, it’s one thing to hear it and another to actually accept our gifts and use them for God’s kingdom!
I really struggle with this because I compare myself to others a lot. I will be honest, I get really jealous at people who are good at having deep conversations with people and can get people to open up to them, even when they just met! It takes me a long time to build relationships that deep! However, I am good at teaching to a larger setting or a small group of people. As long as I can understand it, I can teach it to anyone and anybody! Why then do I keep yearning to be something else!? Why is it so hard sometimes to accept our gifts and talents God has given us? Why do we constantly try to measure up to other people and think, if I could only sing, then I could be used of God! God may have designed a talent for you that may seem obscure to you, but it makes a huge impact on people! People seem to focus on the talents that everyone can see on the platform, but what about the ones in the background running the sound? What about the ones that are really great at leading their small group, or making meals for the widows and homeless? What about those talents? We spend so much time fighting against our gifts and what we could be, that we are losing precious time perfecting what God has gifted us with!
My husband and I have just joined in helping with a new church plant, Victory Chapel in San Marcos. In a new church plant we are quickly learning that there are so many areas for service and we need to use all our talents in many different ways. It has given me a different perspective on using our gifts God has designed each of us uniquely for! There is no time to wrestle with our gifting in a church plant! If you are present, you can be used! Some people are great at greeting people so they have become greeters. Some people are great at one on one conversations and building deep relationships and they have become greeter follow up. Some people are prayer warriors (even though we all should be ha!) so they are the ones that lead our prayer services. I believe we should all be greeters, worshipers, and praying people, but there are those that God has called to lead in those areas. If we spend our time trying to wrestle with whether we should lead in our area, because we would rather be doing this other talent that we could be good at, we lose the opportunity to serve in the place God has gifted us in!
Now what If you are struggling with trying to find your gifting? One, it may be that you are ignoring what God has given you because you are trying to mold yourself into a place where you think you want to be talented in. Two, maybe you truly just don’t know where you can serve. To that I say, pray! Ask God to open your eyes to see where He needs you in His Kingdom! Think about what you love to do and then think how can you turn what you love to do into working for His Kingdom! Don’t be afraid to go to your pastor, pastor’s wife, or another leader in the church and tell them you are not sure where you need to be used. Maybe they can guide you in the right direction or pray with you! Never think that you don’t have any talent! You do! You just need some guidance as to where to be used in this season of your life! You are worth it and God can and will use you!
You also may use your talents in different ways due to your season of life and the needs around you! Pray and seek God and ask Him where you need to be used in this season of your life. Then embrace it and go further His Kingdom! No talent is too great or too small. God just wants a willing heart!
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)