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  • Gladys Childs

Everyone Has a Gift: Discover Your Purpose

group of diverse women

Her heart sank as she looked at the artwork. Words became recognizable as an "I Am" statement revealed itself. She probed the next piece of art, and a different "I Am" verse materialized. Her shoulders slumped as a deep sigh escaped her lips. The familiar thought percolated to the surface. Downcast, she walked away.

It's amazing how often we grapple with that feeling of inadequacy; the whispered thought telling us we have nothing to offer God. But the truth is far from that discouraging notion. We are intricately woven into God's grand tapestry, with unique threads of purpose and gifts lovingly bestowed upon us.

As a pastor's wife and university Chaplain, I often hear the same mantra: "I have nothing to offer God." One person compares himself to his youth pastor. Another person to her religion professor. Yet another to a watercolor artist.

Looking at each of their lives, I see remarkable gifts and talents. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 makes it clear there is one body but many parts. Everyone has a role to play in God's story of redemption.

Precious friend, release the ticker tape of "I have nothing to offer God." This false belief is not from God. Instead, turn to God's word, where one can learn everybody has something to give. There can be freedom from this negative rinse-and-repeat cycle.

1 Peter 4:10 declares, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." (ESV) The writer clarifies that we all have a gift on top of our natural talents. Moreover, we are called to action since God gifts us through Christ.

No gift or talent is insignificant in God's eyes. Cooking for a family with a newborn, calling congregants, gathering items for a food pantry, being a greeter at the church doors, keeping the coffee pot full at a church function, praying for the church and the pastor's family, chauffeuring the elderly who cannot drive, or sharing the gospel with one who needs Christ – one body but many beautiful working parts.

If you are unsure of what your gift is or how to use a talent, try the following:

  1. Pray. Turn to God and ask Him to help you understand your giftedness and where you can serve.

  2. Talk to your pastor or Christian friends. Others can often see in us what we cannot.

  3. Consider what you are passionate about. Passions or hobbies often tend to be a springboard for serving God and others.

  4. Use your gifts and talents. Using your abilities helps clarify if you are on the correct path. Your church leadership can help find places of service for you.

  5. Evaluate. Ask yourself how using your gift or talent went. Are you receiving confirmation from God and others about this area being a good fit? Or does your heart tell you to try something else? Then, make the necessary changes.

Remember, dear one; you are a valuable child of God. Whenever you think you have nothing to offer God, replace it with "Here I am, Lord, use me." God has a place of service crafted especially for you.

Lord, thank You for giving me a gift ideally suited to me. Help me freely accept this offering as I lay my false mantra at Your feet. Please guide me to the place where I can share this gifting. As You fill me with the confidence of Christ to serve You, may I never take Your gift for granted, and may I always be ready to help with humble diligence. May others be encouraged and renewed because of Your work through me. Thank you for entrusting me to serve. May You be glorified through this gift. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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