Wednesday, July 18, 2012

To Answer a Question

"Neglect not the gift which is within you."  1 Timothy 4:14


Sarah asked a couple important questions after my last posts:

"I can't say I am even sure of my special calling or talents. I know one. Would there be more? How do I know or learn about them?"

Some quick answers from me who is upstairs, but unsure how long I can remain because it is warm up here, although, not nearly as humid today as yesterday--yay!

Still not sure of your gifts/talents/callings? 

I would say, ask yourself what you enjoy doing. I mean, God knows how we are--how, if we hate doing something, we'll try super-hard to avoid doing it. So why would He place a gift inside us that we'd hate to use? He gives us callings we enjoy, not only to get us to actually do them, but so that we will find helping others to be a delight, something to be anticipated.

Next I would ask, what are you naturally good at doing? Is there something which tends to be difficult for your friends, but for you, it's not hard at all? Just something which requires your time and a bit of patience, something you can handle without any real confusion or super-effort.

Remember how I was reading the book, Death of a Garage Sale Newbie? Well, my favorite character was Ginger, a woman about my age who loved teaching other ladies how to get great bargains, not only at garage sales, but at the mall, too. Since a child, she'd enjoying saving money on her purchases and she later raised four children on her husband's limited income, delighting in the challenge of staying within a tight budget. And now that her children had grown, she'd branched-out and formed a small group of women who had all sorts of questions about how to thrive in today's economy.

Ginger fulfilled her calling by exercising her talent to save money. (She was a whizz at it. A fun lady!)

And I guess I just want to keep it that simple today.

 What do you enjoy doing? What do you lose track of time, doing? What are you good at? Chances are, God placed that joy and that talent within you, but not just for your benefit! No, but so that--while you're helping others--you will find yourself in the right place at the right time--and you'll behold miracles of change.

"A man's gift makes room for him" and you know? One of the aspects of that verse means--when you use your gift--you'll connect with people who otherwise, you'd never have met. People who need what you have to give. People who may not have listened to a preacher or stepped into a church, but they'll listen to you. People who will someday find their way to God because you simply stepped out and let God use you through the gifts He planted inside you.

And there is nothing else on this planet quite like that.


I think the biggest mistake people make when trying to discover their gifts/talents/callings is to go all oooooooo-spooky-spiritual about it. Don't do that! Actually, if we belong to God, it's all spiritual. Whenever we obey Him in seemingly small areas, that's as spiritual as it gets.

Again, what do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? 

Here are just a few of the types of gifts I'm talking about today:

Are you a good seamstress? Or a knitter? Do you crochet?
Do you love to create gardens? Are you a good landscaper? A creative decorator?
Do you enjoy baking? Cooking meals for others?
Are you good at writing stories or emails or letters or blog posts? Encouraging people at Facebook or other places online or in Real Life?
Have you always wanted to be an actor? Are you interested in community theater?
Do you love all things having to do with make-up? Are you good at making-up your face?
Do you love keeping-up with clothing styles? Have you designed clothes before?
Do you shop yard sales? Can you hardly wait to share a new great coupon or the latest sale prices at the mall with a friend? Are you great at financial planning? Stocks? Bonds? Budgets?
What types of things do you enjoy collecting? Do you love music? Do you sing well or play an instrument or collect certain types of music cd's?
Do you love to read? Attend book clubs? Do you like to throw parties? Do you enjoy making people laugh?
Are you good at organization? Does the thought of helping people clean-out their attics or declutter their homes, excite you? Do you enjoy keeping a tidy home?
Have people told you you're a good listener? Do you excel at sports?
Do you collect stationery? Do you enjoy sending snail mail cards and letters? Are you good at writing letters to people in your local government or others when you wish to see changes made?
Do you like giving directions? Instructions?
Do you love caring for children? Are you creative? Do you enjoy crafting with kids or adults or both? Are you an artist?
Are you a nature lover? Enjoy hiking and camping? Eating healthy? Organic?
 Do you enjoy teaching others what God has taught you?

Stop me before I go on all day. :) 

Every single one of these seemingly-simple talents/gifts/callings are avenues to helping lead people to a new life in God. Not only that, but when we help others, we're also helping ourselves to become more like Jesus. And we're changing the world, as well.

No, really. And why can't I let go of this subject? I guess because it makes me sad to watch Christians live boring lives, with no real purpose, and only for themselves or the family within their four walls. And it scares me to think of what will happen when they stand before God and He asks, "What did you do with the gifts I gave you?"

Please don't believe the lies satan loves to tell us so that we'll waste our lives away, you know, ones which sound like, "You're a talentless-blob. Only the Big Time gifts count, and you don't have any of those so you're excused. God's not expecting anything from you."

Oh, but He is! Yet only what He's already equipped you to do. And He has enabled you to do something marvelous--He doesn't leave anybody out. He loves each of us too much to see us miss out on the joy of helping others.


"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."  1 Corinthians 12:4-6

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."  ... Philippians 2:4



Anonymous said...

Only had a minute to go here and look before having to start supper...but I already knew one calling and now I know 2 from just briefly reading your post. Actually both kind of go together very nicely. I will reread and digest the post better hopefully tonight. Plus go to God about it all. Thank You so much for answering. Got ta go.... !! :) Sarah

Bonnie said...

Very good post today, Debra! Easy explanation of how to discover your gifts. We all have them but I think we sometimes think....."Oh, that doesn't count. Everybody has/does that." So not true. It's funny how we see ourselves so differently than others see us. Next time someone gives you a compliment on something worthy like a character trait, really hear what they're saying and believe it. Thanks, Debra.

K.E. said...

My gift must be sitting around watching British TV shows. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Just looking at your post and reading some of the list of thoughts I didn't realize how many times God has used things I love to do to reach out to others for Him. They just happened cause it was just I see the world and share with people. I am viewing life differently now that I have thought this through more! :) I will read and reread this post and think on this subject many times. Some things I never thought of as my calling but just me. Well Duh! God made us all different so we work together like a puzzle to make a beautiful world. Each of us being one piece. I can see some things I was gifted with when younger but not so much now too. I can also see things in my nature that have been with me probably since day one. Yes because things are easy when they are your calling you share and use them with grace and ease. You get excited sharing them you want to! I only feel a bit hesitant at times because I am the only Christian in my close family and it is awkward at times saying what I want when they are near too without feeling add the extra Christian thought at the time I want to to someone. They do not understand or think this right. I am hardly ever alone when out and about and encounter opportunities to put a word in for God in a gentle way when I am talking to a stranger etc. I may be saying this a bit backwards but cannot put it into words quite right at this time. Does this make sense? My family members that live further away have done so much for God. None toot their own horns but I can see it. I have always felt I did hardly anything. Now I see where I have enpacted some lives where I thought I had not. Maybe planted a seed at least. Not to the extent others in my distant family have by any means, but the guilt has lifted some.I know we are not to compare ourselves but I know so many others that really have done so much for the Lord in their really amazes me. They have so little but do so much etc. Yes I was one who felt bad like you said yesterday, when I see the missionary films etc...feeling like I have not done anything. That post too helped me too. I really want to move forward and be where and what God wants of am being honest here so I can learn all I can. Sarah