Monday, August 8, 2011

Meaningful Mondays- Spiritual Gifts, Part 2 Finding Your Talents

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After a conversation I had with a friend about my last post on spiritual gifts, I decided to do part 2.  Part 1 talked about being jealous of other's talents and understanding why we don't possess the same abilities that we covet in others.  During the conversation, it dawned on me that part of the reason we are jealous is because we don't really know what our talents are.  I'm guilty of these things just as much as the next person so I thought it would be a good topic to explore.

So... how can we find our talents?
  1.  Pray.  Ask God for wisdom to see your talents, have faith and you will find them.  Matthew 7:7-11.  God wants to you to use your abilities or else He wouldn't have given them to you.  He will help you find them and use them the way they are intended, but remember to be prayerful and always seek to do His will and not your own. 

  2. Ask someone.  This may seem like a "Duh" answer, but have you ever asked someone what they thought you are good at?  I wouldn't just ask anyone, but someone you interact with on a daily basis who you trust to give you an honest answer.  You don't want to ask someone who will just give you answers to flatter you, but who will seriously consider the question.  Others often see things in us that we can't see for ourselves.

    This is hard because we sometimes have difficulty taking positive comments from people.  Often we are so used to blowing off encouragement from others because we want to be humble, but humility is not about putting yourself down.  It's about lifting others up.  So, ask someone, drop your defenses and really give thought to their answer.  It may not be the answer you want, but still take time and think it over.

    "How much better it is to get skillful and godly Wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver." Proverbs 16: 16  Let the wisdom of others help you on your path.
  3. Try different things.  Work with other Christians who have talents or interests similar to your own.  Ask them to teach you and then help you figure out whether or not this is something that you're good at.  Don't be thin-skinned and get discouraged about every failure.  You asked God to help you find your talents and in the process you will have to sift through the things you are not good at. 

    "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers," Ephesians 4:11.  Notice how the word and is used after each "job".  He didn't make somebody who could do all of those things, just like you won't be good at everything.

    Just because you enjoy doing something, doesn't mean that you are necessarily good at it.  I love to sing, but I can say beyond of shadow of a doubt that singing is not my "talent". :P  I can still use it for God as I'm commanded to, but I'm probably not going to be a song leader.  Fortunately, song leading is just one small talent in a sea of many that can be used for God.  Take stock of what you like to do and try to find ways to use them in God's service.  Some may not pan out, but you WILL find something that works. 
Follow these steps (especially #1) and you are sure to discover where your talents lie and how you can put them to work in the Lord's kingdom. Just remember though, "Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people."  Colossians 3:23.

    Have a great week!
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