Growing up I was never in the Talented and Gift program. And I was never the natural athlete on the team. Did that mean I didn't have success in the classroom or on the court? No, I worked hard and was even able to earn some awards. Because of this, I developed a bit of a mentality that effort is more important than my ability.
This philosophy was being developed in the days before I knew Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, but these thoughts were not erased when I accepted Christ. Though God has done some work in this area, yesterday I was reminded He is not yet finished.
During a conversation with a friend, one whom I respect and look up to, words I didn't expect were spoken. She said, "Jill, you have a giftedness..." and then she went on to suggest a way for me to use that gift.
I didn't know what to say...she was verbalizing what God has been whispering, but that insecure girl in me, the one who always thought she was never quite good enough and became a Christian who's struggled with thoughts of not being worthy of all God wants to offer, she came back and wanted to doubt.
That doubt led to thoughts...
I couldn't do that. Friend, you're the one with the gift...you'd do so much better. Who am I to step out and do what does not come natural? Even if I do, others may think I'm prideful, the humble thing is to step back and stay behind the scenes.
Friend, I had to remind myself these thoughts, they really have a better name...they are lies. Lies that Satan wants us to believe to keep us from doing what God created us to do.
Over the last month, I've been researching and studying what it means to believe and God's been challenging me to live out my beliefs. I've learned that faith (belief) does something with Truth (God's Word).
So as I struggled with the idea of me having a gift, I opened my Bible. Here are a few of the verses I found -
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 4:10-11a
"Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you." 1 Timothy 4:14
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
I've claimed the Bible is true and have confessed to believe it, perhaps you have to, but we must remember there is more...we must live it. James 2:17 tells us, "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
God's Word tells us He's given us gifts and it instructs us to use the gifts. God, the Creator of life, even tells us why we must be who He created us to be...to bring Him glory. This motivates me, how about you?
The question is, "Does it motivate me (and you) enough to not just accept the gift He's given, but use it too?"
I'd love to hear your thoughts! And in closing, I'd like to encourage you to do what my friend did...today share with someone the gift you see in them. I believe God can use your words to speak life in the same powerful way He used my friend's.