Each of us has God-given gifts that He intends for us to use to bring glory to Himself. We were each created for a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:13-16) and we can do our part to fulfill that purpose by using our gifts to their fullest potential.
In order to use our gifts, we must first know what they are. We need to take some time to really know ourselves. If this is an area you are struggling in, here are some things you can do to work to identify your gifts:
- Pray and ask God to reveal to you what gifts He has given you specifically. You might consider writing in a journal as you pray about any things you feel you may be gifted at or that you feel God is revealing to you.
- Ask those who know you best what qualities or characteristics they observe in you and how they could see you using those gifts to serve God and others.
- Another way of discovering some of your gifts would be to take a personality test or interest inventory. Some examples of these include the Strong Interest Inventory, the 16PF, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey, etc. These types of tests can be administered by a trained therapist who can discuss your results with you and help you determine your next steps. The staff of The Well can help you identify which tests might be best to take and set up a time for you to take those tests in our office.
- Another test that you can take to help you determine your gifts and career interests is the Self-Directed Search. This test is available online at http://www.self-directed-search.com/ . Once you take the test, you’ll want to discuss your results with a trained therapist who can help you process your thoughts and feelings and help you determine your next steps.
As you are seeking to use your gifts, recognize that your gifts will be different from others and that is by design. We all have different gifts God has given us and He wants us to use them to work together to serve Him and others (Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-31).
Remember that it takes stepping out in faith to trust God about using your gifts. When you work diligently and do your part to use your gifts, God will do the rest. When you are not following His lead and using the gifts He has given you, it is hard for much to be accomplished. However, when you are using those gifts He’s given you, you may be surprised at what can be accomplished. A good example of this can be seen in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, Jesus talks about a master who loaned varying amounts of talents (money) to 3 of his servants and then went on a journey. When he returned, 2 of his servants had invested what their master had given them and had doubled the amount of talents they had. One servant had not invested the talents and he had nothing more than what his master had originally given him. Jesus demonstrates through this parable that we have a very active role in using our talents and gifts that God has given us.
Remember as you are seeking to use your gifts that the enemy wishes to hold us down and he does not like when we are using our gifts, so we may come up against challenges that seem to make it hard to use our gifts. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” Be encouraged and reminded that even when the enemy wishes to challenge us and make it hard for us to use our gifts, we can press into the Lord where we will find that God has given us a spirit that can help us overcome those challenges with power, love, and self-discipline.Casey West