“In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:3-6, the Message)
Just as each part of our body has a different function, we are each gifted in different ways. God created us in His image, fashioned us each in a unique design, and gave us our various talents and abilities. As members of the body of Christ, it is our duty to use those gifts and talents to bring God glory.
Some of you might be asking yourself, What if I don’t have any special talents or gifts? How would I even figure out what they are?
In The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren explains how to discover and make use of your gifts.
“The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service. I could have taken a hundred gift and ability tests as a young men and would never have discovered that I was gifted at teaching because I had never done it! It was only after I began accepting opportunities to speak that I saw the results, received confirmation from others, and realized, ‘God has gifted me to do this!’
…You have dozens of hidden abilities and gifts you don’t know you’ve got because you’ve never tried them out. So I encourage you to try doing some things you’ve never done before.
…Examine your experiences and extract the lessons you have learned. Review your life and think about how it has shaped you. Moses told the Israelites, ‘Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him.’ Forgotten experiences are worthless.”
Looking back, I understand why God allowed me to go through certain sufferings and deal with difficult trials. He was shaping me into the person I am today and through it all, I found a heart for those who are searching for God and dealing with similar situations. It’s amazing to see how God really does work everything for good.
“Your shape was sovereignly determined by God for his purpose, so you shouldn’t resent it or reject it. Instead of trying to reshape yourself to be like someone else, you should celebrate the shape God has given only to you.”
As I matured and developed in my faith, I was more than eager to begin serving and doing everything I possibly could to bring God glory and spread the news of what He’s done for me. Somehow I got so caught up in doing things for God, I began desiring things for myself instead.
When I saw people who were preaching without hesitation, who were able to go on missionary trips to foreign countries, who had the talent to sing of Jesus and his love for us, I began desiring those gifts and abilities too. If only I had the courage to do those things… If only I had the talent to join a worship band… If only I was a woman like Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore…
I became so focused on being someone else, I forgot who God created me to be.
“Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21, NIV)
“In heaven we are going to serve God forever. Right now, we can prepare for that eternal service by practicing on earth. Like athletes preparing for the Olympics, we keep training for that big day: “They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” We’re getting ready for eternal responsibilities and rewards.”
I encourage you to start searching for your gifts now. God has a unique plan for each of us and the sooner we discover what he wishes for us, the more successful we’ll be in spreading God’s glory and showing people what He’s all about.
“What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.” (Danish proverb)
Like this blog? It was written by Jessie, an American High Schooler who writes the frankly awesome blog – Unending Love, Amazing Grace