What are your gifts, and are you using them?

Everyone has been given gifts.  I’m not talking about boxes wrapped in pretty paper with ribbons around them.  I mean gifts as a contributing member of the human race.  Each person on the planet was created with gifts within them that are waiting to be utilized for the benefit of others.  Let me give you some examples.  Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has a gift; can you guess what it is?  How about Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings?  Having a unique ability that allows you to perform a specific purpose well is what I call a gift.  Have you ever thought about what your gifts are?  If you don’t know what they are, then how can you focus on using them?If you would like to discover what your gifts are there is a simple way to do that.  First, consider what you love to do.  Think back at times in your life when you have caught yourself really enjoying whatever you were doing.  It felt like play to you.  You found yourself thriving while you were doing it, and you just couldn’t seem to get enough of it.  While performing this function, you really felt as if you were designed to do this… made to do it.  If you can define what it is you are doing in overall terms, you may have discovered one of your unique gifts.  For some, it might be singing, others it might be teaching, or coaching or working with numbers.  You name it; you might possess a gift in this area.

What benefit is there to using your gifts?  For some, there is financial benefit, even into the millions of dollars per week.  Our culture rewards certain gifts very handsomely.  Movie and rock stars, super athletes, war heroes, and even sometimes politicians, all of them receive a very handsome reward of fame, fortune and privilege from exercising their gifts.  Others who have unique gifts and exercise them to perfection are not rewarded at all by our culture, and just the opposite, live a life of servitude, poverty and obscurity.  Consider Mother Theresa’s gift of charity for example.

I believe that we all have gifts and that mankind can and will benefit from us exercising each of our gifts.  My son has the gift of creativity, my wife and daughter the gift of compassion, while my other daughter has the gift of persuasion.  Each can be used for the benefit of others.  I believe I have the gift of encouragement.  My brother has the gift of faith.  Each one has a gift or gifts; some similar with others, some very unique.  The question remains, what is your gift and how are you using it?  Are you using it to benefit others or are you using it to benefit just yourself.  Or perhaps you are hiding it for some reason.  The win-win circumstance is that you discover and use your gifts to benefit others while at the same time, it benefits you too.  I know that if you are truly utilizing your gift to the best of your ability, others should be benefiting and you will feel pretty good about what you are doing, most of the time.

One tragedy I see from time to time is people stifling their gifts.  They know they have them, but for some reason push them away or bury them for some reason.  Perhaps the reason is a lack of confidence, wounds in the past, or just being too busy with other things in life.  I believe that our true purpose in life centers on the gifts we have been created with, and the use of these gifts for the benefits of others.

Each and every day that I go to work, I try to exercise my gift of encouragement.  Some days it is used a lot, and less at other times.  But the important thing is that I am aware of my gift, want to use as best I can and look for opportunities to express it.  I have read in books and heard from wise people in all walks of life, that if you do what you love to do, you will be really good at it.  Instead of asking what the world needs most, search yourself and find your gifts, then go and exercise those gifts to the best of your ability, because what the world needs most is people doing what they were created to do, and are really good at it.

I want to encourage you to think about what you love to do, what gift you might possess and then press into applying it in some fashion.  You might just find a unique ability to do something that others would enjoy, benefit from and appreciate.  That might even make you feel pretty good…pretty, pretty good about yourself…something we all need from time to time as we walk through this life…fighting for the hearts of others.

Sarah Peterson