Think you might you have gifts?
But isn’t it scary to use them?
How Do You Start?
“It began as you might expect. In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty dirty wet hole full of worms and oozy smells. This was a hobbit hole and that means good food, a warm hearth and all the comforts of home.”
As Bilbo Baggins starts writing his story in the movie, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, these are the words he pens. We all start somewhere and then we move. I dare say, we move or we die. Some people spend their entire lives not moving. Oh, they work and eat and sleep and go through their routine but they don’t really move. After all there might be scary stuff out there!
They want to stay in their cozy normal home, safe, unchallenged and not seeking adventure. But then they get the nagging feeling that there is something more outside their hobbit hole — something they’ve been made for.
Don’t let that be you. Don’t refuse to move. Don’t become stagnant. God is a god of movement. He has gifted you and He wants more for you than hiding away. He has always called His people on a journey, adventure, pilgrimage or walk of faith.
In the classic tale by J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins found things he’d never imagined along with fear, adventure, great friends and a place for himself that he wouldn’t have had if he hadn’t tried.
8 Rungs to the Ladder of Giftedness
We’ve all got gifts, talents, abilities, and skills. Do you know what your gifts are?
Have you developed them? Are they useful to you and the people around you? We have gifts for a larger purpose than ourselves. They are for serving others.
- Recognize That You are Gifted.
Don’t put yourself down and think that you are not talented. Your talents won’t be the talents of others. Because you are you and only you! Some people think they are humble if they refuse to admit they are gifted. But remember the premise of holyimagination.com is that we all have gifts. God made us this way. We need to find and develop those gifts and then we can use them to serve others.
“Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”
2. Find Your Gifts
a) Ask God what are your gifts? He knows you like no one else.
b) Ask yourself what might be your gifts? Deep down you might just know.
c) Ask people who know you what they see in you? Often we miss our giftedness but others can see it plainly.
3. Try the Gifts You’ve Been Pointed to
If these are really your gifts there will be some level of success even if it’s beginner’s success. Also, if the gift is yours, then using it will strike a cord or resonate within you.
My Dad played piano by ear. Didn’t read music, didn’t need lessons, he’d hear a song and he could play it. Such an amazing thing, so annoying when I think that I took years of piano lessons as a child, never really got it and just can’t play. But seriously, good for him.
4. Find Someone to Help Develop Your Gifts
Whether in art, science, sport, craft or education you will need to develop and discipline to grow our gifts. Find someone who can train and nurture your giftedness. Olympians need trainers and mechanics need apprenticeships. Find the ones who can help you, challenge you.
You might feel shy about it. That’s normal. But I think people are flattered if you ask for help and often glad to do it.
When I was starting out in radio I asked several high profile pros for help and got to hang in studio with them during their shows, pick their brains and learn a lot. Often people are flattered and more than willing to help.
Oh, and it’s worth keeping in mind that you don’t want to become them, you might become somewhat like them. But really you want their help in becoming the you God made you to be. The you, who is using your gifts increasingly in God’s grace to serve others.
5. Find the Venue to Exercise Your Gifts
If you are an artist find a canvas, if a woodworker get tools and wood, if a philosopher then grab a notebook and document new thoughts, if a servant look for opportunities to serve. If you’ve got gifts then you will find opportunities to develop your gifts.
6. Use Your Gifts
Gifts are to be used. And even if they seem to be for our benefit they are not for such a mundane call.
Our gifts are for the good of all. Gifts are meant to serve.
They might look good at home or on a shelf or give you a warm feeling as you think of them. But gifts are meant to be shared. They need to do what they were meant to do.
Back when I was a young and introverted boy I discovered magic as a fun hobby. And I would spend hours practicing the various illusions that I learned. But I wasn’t really using my gift properly until I actually performed the illusions for others. Before that I was just practicing or in some ways, playing at being a magician. As an old proverb says,
“A ship in the harbour is safe. But that’s not what ships are made for.”
The theme of Spiderman comic books ever since Spiderman’s first appearance in1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15 is
“with great power comes great responsibility”
You have gifts. A gift is a great power and with it is the awesome responsibility of unleashing it on the world, serving others. There’s something missing in the world without your gift. I really believe that.
And that is a biblical thought as well when we read Luke 12,
“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” NLT
It is an awesome opportunity we have when we recognize and use our gifts. Wonder is found, lives are changed and the world is never the same.
Use your gifts, serve others with them and become the person God meant you to be. Make a difference in the world around you.
7. Share Your Gifts With Others Who Have the Same or Related Gifts
As you need to find someone to train and nurture your gifts, so you have a responsibility to nurture the gifts of others. They may not have the same gifts as you but if your gifts are related then you can help them develop theirs.
Give back as others have given to you. There is unexpected joy in seeing others go on where you have toiled.
8. Put Time, Practice and Energy Into Your Gifts.
A gift takes effort to use. And some of us are wholehearted doers while others might hold back. We range from extroverted to introverted. From small to large in our own estimation. But with the gift you have and who you are there is no other like you. So take your best shot, give it all your effort. As the saying goes, “fish or cut bait”. Go for it.
But it depends not just on you. As the gift is given by God so comes the strength, inspiration and success with the gift.
“Work as if everything depended on your work, and pray as if everything depended on your prayer.” General William Booth
There is no other quite like you. Go and use your gifts as God leads and empowers.