Monday, November 17, 2014

Embrace Your Talents

If you are like me you sometimes compare yourself to others, at least from time to time. Even the most confident person can occasionally have doubts. Maybe you think someone is smarter or skinnier or they sing or speak better than you. That's o.k. and I would even venture to say that it's normal. It's easy to feel a little intimidated when you sense that someone does something better than you. Mostly I don't let it bother me, except when it's something I've been striving to improve upon. But then I remember that God didn't give all of us the same gifts and talents. You won't have the same gifts as your brother or your spouse, or your neighbor or even yourself from 10 years ago.

I continue to work with my own gifts and talents and remember that 'I can do all things through him who strengthens me.' (Philippians 4:13)
  • I TRY not to compare myself to others.
  • I TRY not to put larger-than-life expectations on myself.
  • I TRY not to knowingly set myself up for disappointment.
  • BUT I do TRY to work with what I've been given and not waste it.
  • I do TRY to use my gifts for good.
  • I do TRY to make a difference.
  • And I do TRY to bring joy to others whenever I can.
The key word, for better or worse, is TRY. That's really all any of us can do. When we quit TRYING the battle is already lost.

We all need to be lifted up at times and we all need reassurances. In Psalm 139:14 it says, 'I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.' This verse reminds me that I am not alone, that the gifts and talents I possess were given only to me by someone much bigger than me. Who am I to argue with the One who created me? If we keep this in mind perhaps we will embrace our gifts and talents more than we do. We will embrace who we were created to be and use these gifts for the Glory of God. Sometimes we need to pause and take a long look on the mirror and accept the things we are, yet improve upon the characteristics that need some work.
  • I can accept that I am a stickler for details.
  • I can accept that I would sometimes prefer to write rather than speak.
  • I can accept that I am creative, that I will skip through a pile of autumn leaves whenever I can, and that I would eat pizza 5 days a week if given the chance.
  • I can accept that I have an inner child that still likes to color with crayons.
  • I can accept that I will always dot my 'i's' and cross my 't's' and find the grammatical errors in published books.
  • And I can accept that my faith journey is a work in progress.
Here is one verse to leave you with and remember ... Your talent is God's gift to you - what you do with it is your gift back to God.

Romans 12:4-8 (NIV)
For just as each of us has one body with many members,
and these members do not all have the same function,
so in Christ we, though many, form one body,
and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
if it is serving, then serve;
if it is teaching, then teach;
if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;
if it is giving, then give generously;
if it is to lead, do it diligently;
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

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