Who we are

I don’t know how or when it happens but growing up, sooner or later, it will hit us… I’m a little different. They are: fast, athletic, pretty, smart, can sing, can color in the lines, they are outgoing etc., They are better which too often is interpreted I am less.

Kindergarten kids figure that stuff out pretty quick and some will quickly embrace being the next to the fastest runner or having a good friend rather than have the most friends. But the sad truth is that some kids, youth and adults never do.

The problem isn’t our differences. The problem is that too often we use what we see in others to alienate us and we begin to make much of what we aren’t. When what we should be doing is celebrating their accomplishments while appreciating our own.

Awww!!! I just heard a whisper from the recesses of a few hearts. Shame on you! You do have gifts – hand picked by God to fit His perfect plans and purposes for your beautiful life. You have gifts and talents. Some of them slide in with time and not be evident as a child, youth or even adult but you have them. God has begun a good work in you, do you not believe He can finish it with the heart you continually lay in His hand?

Exodus 35:25-26 speaks of women who were artisans and some of those were also gifted with wisdom to do the harder tasks than even the artisans. Daniel 1, speaks of young men that were gifted in wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand. Romans 12 reminds us that we are many members in one body with different gifts given. And no one is too think more highly of himself because of his gifts, which to me seems to mean that we also should think no LESS of ourselves either. To think more of your gift is to take ownership of what God has started within you. To think less of your gift is to question God’s wisdom and love toward you. You have gifts and talents you are a work of art in the hand of The Faithful Creator.

You can have a huge, beautiful church, with musicians and outstanding worship and an incredible preacher but if you don’t have those who greet in love and follow-up and pray and handle maintenance and clean-up and serve. You are going to miss it all! Every role is of significance and none can operate to their fullness unless they embrace what GOd has laid before them… their gift. If everybody talks – who will listen and share. If everybody sings – who will pray. If every man would lead then where will an army arise that knows how to follow.

We face an issue in our society – conformation. Becoming, trying to clone ourselves (our spouses, our marriage, our family, our children) to the ‘ideal’. There were plenty of relatives, people and teachers who would have liked me to ‘change my ways’ so that I would just go with the flow with everyone else. I got quite a few whoppings, I did and did not deserve, because of who people believed I was – my natural gifts being unappreciated in some arenas, situations and environments. But thankfully one of the things I have had for as far back as I can remember is self-determination. (That sounds so much better than stubborn or strong-willed :0) I was once shy and during that season the last thing I needed was a sense of conformity to swallow up who I was and the work God was doing.

You might not have ever even considered that that was a gift but it was, for when I reflect on my life that is what sustained me AND propelled me forward AND kept me from feeling beaten. That hard-head of mine held me, as I prayed at night I would consider that yes I probably could and know that in Christ I couldn’t fail.

I have had to remember that raising a husband (love you Babe :0) and children. Working with children. Youth. Grown-ups. My extended family. My grandkiddos. We are wonderfully different yet called to work and designed to function so that the body, the house, would be complete. Made whole and prepared for every good work.

And you, what sets you apart? Is it your physical stamina, sharp mind, compassionate heart, understanding nature, outgoing personality? I Corinthians 12 says that there are diversities within our gifts but the same Spirit… differences in the capacity and way we dent our darkness but the same Lord… and their are a multitude of things we do but it is the same God working in them all.

QUESTION. What is your talent? That thing you do well, that comes so naturally. Is it tangible leaving something that someone can hold in their hand and admire or is it intangible leaving behind comfort, wisdom or joy in your wake?

QUESTION. Are you content with that which God has so graciously given? Are you using it for Kingdom good and His glory? Are you celebrating and encouraging others with their individual gifts?

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