We all have talents. We all have things that interest us that we love to spend our time on. Sometimes we say we have certain skills or we enjoy certain hobbies. Others may share our passions but each of us has a unique make up all our own. In the Christian tradition we call these things our “gifts”. Having a gift doesn’t mean something you are automatically good at. It means it’s something you feel drawn to, something that brings you joy, or something you find it easy to invest yourself in. Everyone is called to love God, love their neighbor, and love themselves. Our unique gifts are how we put that call to love into action.
Have you ever said something that started with “Well, I’m just a…”? If so, you should probably stop. Nobody is “just” anything. We are all given our our gifts to use and share.
We may be tempted to compare our gifts to what we perceive to be the gifts of others, and when we do we often come away feeling less than great about our own. We may say things that start with “I’m just a [fill in the blank].” One thing that is crystal clear in the Christian tradition is nobody is just anything. Everyone is made in God’s image and our unique gifts are part of that nature.
The important question we should be asking is how do I best develop and use my gifts? You may use them through your work, family, or where you volunteer. It may be something that looks difficult or complex, though many times it is actually the simple things that mean the most. Knowing just when to listen, give a hug, bring a meal, or offer praise is a gift that often means more than anything else.
Our culture is fixated on those who are up front or on display. Yet most of us spend most of our time on important work that only a small number of people, if anybody, will ever see. This behind the scenes unseen work is every bit as important as work that is visible to many. Jesus often praised those who were faithful in less visible ways and warned those who made themselves the center of attention.
So, what gifts have you been given? What brings you joy and life? What do you find yourself drawn too and willing to invest in? Putting our gifts into practice, doing the something we alone can do, won’t necessarily be easy. It may demand a lot of us. But it will also bring its own sort of reward as we get to be part of the Kingdom building work God calls all of us too.
Take this free online spiritual gifts assessment
to see what your gifts may be. It only takes a few minutes.
Review the results paying attention to the top three or four. Consider how (or if) they seem like you.
Finally, complete the reflection questionnaire
to start considering where you might focus next. Optionally, you can request a follow-up one on one conversation with Pastor Jeremy about your gifts and help figuring out what might be next.