OUR GIFTS FROM GOD: USING THEM TO SERVE HIM
During my Christian journey I’ve heard about gifts that we receive from the Holy Spirit.
For some time, I really didn’t understand what they were. I thought I had to do the amazing things like speak in tongues and heal the sick.
I never knew that our gifts could be rooted in what we do everyday.
I’ve told stories my whole life. Just ask my aunts and uncle. At the age of four I would tell them stories about my imaginary friends.
Little did I know that this would become part of my purpose. I didn’t know that my telling stories could be a spiritual gift.
I’m not a scholar on gifts, but I’ve been trying to learn about my own gift. I already know that whatever I do should glorify God. So that would mean the same thing for my gifts, right?
Last year, I participated in a bible study called Rooted. This study helped me to understand my own gifts more.
I learned that Christian writers should be in the entertainment sector and the education sector. I started doing more research on gifts and realized the teaching is a gift, as well.
Another thing I learned is that if you ask for the guidance from the Holy Spirit and seek Him for answers, He’ll reveal your gift to you. And if you continue to seek Him, He will help you grow in that gift.
THE MASTER AND THE SERVANTS
I read a lot of devotionals for entrepreneurs, and Matthew 25:14-28 has been a consistent passage referenced in most of the studies. The passage is a story about a master who was leaving his home. He called his servants to him and he gave them money to watch over while he was away. The Bible says he gave them the amounts according to their ABILITY.
While he was away, one of the servants who had 5 bags to manage, earned 5 more bags for this rich man. The servant who had 2 bags to manage earned his master 2 more bags. One of his servants was given one bag. That servant hid the money until the man came back and he gave him that same bag back when he returned. The man was upset and called this servant lazy. He told him he could have at least put it in the bank to earn interest.
When I see the word “lazy” I cringe. I know that God wants relationship with us and there is nothing we can do to make Him love us anymore.
But, I also know that we are to be good stewards of what He has given us, while we’re here.
How are we managing our time? Our money? – All of it belongs to God, so we should seek Him for guidance on how to handle it.
The story says each man was given a certain amount according to his ABILITY. The servant with 2 bags wasn’t expected to do what the servant with 5 bags could do. The servant with 1 bag wasn’t expected to do much at all.
God knows us and what we’re capable of. I know that I’m not always doing what I know I’m capable of.
Sometimes, I’m that lazy servant. I’m not proud to say that.
There are times when I don’t even spend time in the Bible, and let’s not even mention how much time I could be spending nurturing my gift.
God trusts us to be good stewards of what He has blessed us with. We have to be careful not to let Him down.
Have you ever seen yourself as the lazy servant?
Do you live up to your ability?
What can you do to start living up to your ability?
After reflecting on my 2020, I learned that I need to do the following. Maybe you can relate?
I NEED TO SHOW UP
Showing up is as simple as paying attention.
I had to remove distractions. There needed to be a designated place for me to work. Even if it’s the kitchen table. I needed to find a place to focus.
Sometimes the kitchen table was just easier to get to when I didn’t feel like working.
I’m blessed to have an office, in our basement, but there are times when I don’t want to get it warmed up and to sit at my desk.
For now, I take just showing up as a triumph and I celebrate that.
I NEED TO BE CONSISTENT
Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on something.
I learned that putting forth effort to finish what I start has a big payoff.
That payoff starts with me feeling like I accomplished something. I made a schedule and kept it with me and as the day went on, I was able to mark off what I finished.
The more marks I saw the prouder I became of myself. (I try my best to make sure that I’m doing meaningful things. Not just checking my email. Even though I need to be doing that too.)
Making a schedule is nothing new. But for me, sticking to it is.
It’s so important to have a schedule. Whether you time block or plan daily, it’s important to make the work count each day.
I also needed to have breaks planned.
The Pomodoro Method for work has been good for me so far. I work 25 minutes and take a five minute break. After I do that 4 times, I get a 30 min break.
This keeps me working consistently, and it helps me to take my eyes off my laptop so that I’m not straining my eyes.
I NEED TO REFLECT
I’ve always considered myself a reflector…that sounds funny. Anyway, I’m a person that reflects.
I just haven’t been writing my reflections consistently.
The more I reflect the more I focus on what I need to do.
At some point I’m going to get tired of seeing the same goals not being met.
At some point it’s going to click that some of the small things could have been completed a long time ago.
I’ll get tired of reminding myself to do something that needs to be done.
I reflect weekly and monthly. I want to see the close up view and the overview.
Reflecting takes some time, but it’s important to my growth.
And really, it doesn’t take that much time. About 15 minutes weekly and about 30 minutes monthly.
AFTER I REFLECT, CHANGE THE LAZY HABITS
Where have I been I been lazy?
I find it right in my reflection and my daily habits. If I moving a task to the next day, day after day, that “could” be a sign of laziness.
For me it may just be something I say, “I’ll get to it tomorrow.”
I have to get over the “I’ll do it tomorrow” feeling.
The more consistent I am, the prouder I am of myself.
Reflection also shows me where I should be celebrating.
No, I may not be meeting all of my goals each month, but I am getting somethings finished.
As long as I’m getting some things finished that are important, I need to celebrate.
Sometimes I’m getting more done, than I give myself credit for. I know many of us are like that.
We want to see big returns right away and don’t realize we are setting the foundation for God to bless us.
Celebrate what you accomplish and keep working.
REST AND RESTART
Of course, after I know what I need to work on next I make my list for the next week and then I rest.
Resting is so important for restarting. Resting allows us to get refreshed for the hard work ahead.
Resting is also part of the Christian expectation.
Yes, we should work hard, but we need time to rest from that work.
Take some time to rest before you get started again.
Who can you help if you’re burned out?
What can you manage if you can’t focus?
What can you create if you can’t think?
Get some rest.
We are called to use our gifts for God.
We should be working hard at seeking Him and finding out what he wants us to manage.
God doesn’t call us to laziness. We are to work as though we are working for God, because we are.
There are simple things we can do to make sure that we’re not like the lazy servant.
We can manage what God gave us to do and in the process He’ll bless us with more to manage.
But in all our working, we need to make sure that we are resting so that we continue the work for the Kingdom.
I hope this was helpful to you.
Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Until next time.