Talents and Gifts, Pt. 1
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10
You have God-given gifts and talents.
Read that one more time, especially if you're doubting it. For years, I wondered what my gifts and talents were. I didn't seem to shine... at all. I'm not athletic. I don't paint. I never learned to play an instrument. I am introverted and don't like to be the center of attention. What exactly do I have to offer? How exactly is God working through me?
Perhaps you've had similar thoughts. You think you're offering nothing of value or importance. You feel mostly insignificant in this huge world; just another face among the crowd of over seven billion people. No one outside your little town knows your name, you haven't sold a national best seller, you didn't make it to the major leagues, and no one seems to care if you take really good pictures. You wonder... God, what is my purpose? What makes me special and unique?
Verses like the one above, found in 1 Peter, were difficult for me to understand. Some days, I still struggle at feeling confident with the talents I have. When we measure our talents by the world's standards, though, we will feel like we missed the mark and aren't living lives that matter. We will believe the lie that there's nothing special about us. But you do matter, and the talents God has entrusted to you are not only outstanding, but the world is in need of what you have to offer.
When you consider the talents you have, you may fall into the trap of comparison. You will see others winning and succeeding, and wonder why you aren't on the same path. You will believe that just because someone can do it better, then what you have really isn't much. The truth is that someone will always be better. Someone will always be faster, smarter, and more creative. But that doesn't mean you aren't talented. The talents of others don't take away from your set of talents. God notices your talents, and chances are high that the people who benefit from them notice, too.
You are worthy, loved, and talented, not compared to others or based on what you can or can't do, but because of who you are as a beloved child made in God's image.
When it comes to our talents, some days we may feel at the top of the world, and other days, we face setbacks. Remember, whatever talents you have are in addition to the wonderful human being you already are. Talents don't make us more valuable, or special, or loved by God. God is delighted with us because He created us and He longs to know His children.
You draw, you play basketball, you run, you write; whatever it is that you excel in, your talents are surely God-given. They can be practiced and honed and grow. Be a good steward of your talents by embracing them, being intentional to develop them, and to get out there and use them. Not everyone can do what you do so well! Ultimately, God grants us talents for the purpose of bringing glory to Him. He wants you to be part of the efforts to further His kingdom and draw others to Him. As a child of God, you have talents to offer that will make an eternal difference to those you encounter.
This Week’s Reading Plan
As you read the following passages this week, ask yourself these questions:
1) What verse comforts me that I can commit to memory?
2) What word or phrase stands out?
3) What am I learning about God from this?
4) How can I apply this to my life today?
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Author: Pamela Myers Palmer
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