“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” -Romans 12:6-8 NASB
How do you know your gifts? They are the things that when you are doing them you know that it’s what you were made for. Even if they are sometimes hard, you still enjoy doing them. These are things that others also see in you; friends who give you godly counsel confirm these are the things you are good at doing. They are the things that you think about doing when you are doing other things. Things that come naturally. Like you were born to do them. Like you were made for doing them.
Now I know this may not really be a secret. But too often I think we walk around like it is.
We compare our gifts to those of others.
Here’s the thing though. God didn’t create you to be someone else.
We cower behind the fear that we will become too proud if we embrace our gifts so we paralyze ourselves.
If we keep our focus on our Creator who created us with these gifts we can can use them for His glory and not our own, and walk confidently in the purpose He has for us, not someone else.
We allow other’s opinions of us to keep us from using our gifts.
This is a big one. Too often these attacks on our gifts come from other Christians. Someone writes an article or post about how they think worship teams are just performers wanting the applause. Or maybe a friend speaks hurtfully about you when you are using your gifts.
Yes, many times the ones trying to keep you from using your gifts come from others within the Christian faith. How unfortunate that we cannot respect each other’s differences and encourage one another instead of tearing each other down.
Isn’t that exactly what the enemy wants? He wants there to be infighting among those who call themselves Christians so we aren’t focused on using the gifts God has given us to reach a hurting world or to use them for His purposes.
Perhaps someone thinks their position trumps your purpose. Maybe jealousy or pride or insecurities cause them to discourage you or even sabotage your efforts. Don’t let that deter you. When you know the gifts and purpose God created in you, you have to fight the attacks that try to push them underground.
Here’s the truth I want you to remember. I want you to burn this on your heart. People like that, people who want to stifle your gifts? They don’t get a say in how you use the gifts God has blessed you with. If someone wants to lead you well they will speak life into your spirit, and even when the difficult conversations and corrections are needed to lead you, they will do so with kindness and encouragement. (More on this in an upcoming post.)
So discover your gifts. Develop & grow your gifts. Use your gifts. Don’t be afraid to use them in different areas to find out what ignites your passion when using them. If you don’t feel like you’ve found your passion, try using your gifts in another area. Ignore anyone who tries to tell you that you shouldn’t be using them. When your passion and your gifts intersect, and they bring God glory, you will know it. It will make you feel so alive you will know THAT is exactly what God created you to do.