“So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.”
1 Cor 14:12
I grew up in the age of the participation trophy, where the whole of our education was focused on our self esteem, making sure we knew we were special and proficient at everything. This cheapened so many experiences, because I knew those who were supposed to be revealing my gifts and directing them toward proper channels felt like they couldn’t in fear of making someone else feel badly.
It seems since coming into adulthood, my generation is still searching for true validation of their ability and someone to show them how to use their gifts. It’s the reason so many of us look for “spiritual parents” deep into our twenties, desperate for a validation we believe is genuine because of it’s spiritual nature, and not because these are people who felt obligated to encourage us.We need to actually be extraordinary; we need to be gifted.
These gifts though, in everyone, are something that as soon as they are encouraged by others are shut down by us. A fear that our ego will somehow get away from us if we receive true praise for what God has planted in us to naturally do. Instead of developing these gifts for the sake of the Kingdom, and really to the direction toward fulfillment, we turn them into hobbies or things we do when no one else is around. The greatest example I’ve seen of this is a friend of mine who was born to sing. We were waitressing together on the 4th of July, and with an empty restaurant facing the empty mall, she grabbed the host microphone and began to sing the national anthem as the TV’s showed the fireworks display. Her voice ripped through my spirit as it resounded off the walls, and I immediately recognized this was more than just the hobby she reserved for when she was home. Those of us present stopped, filled with awe and moved to tears, drinking in every note. She finished, quietly put the microphone down and walked back into the kitchen. How my heart ached knowing how gifted she is, knowing the world may never experience what I did. Today, we take our gifts and talents and give them back to God, giving Him permission to do with and display however He chooses.
In what ways are you extraordinary? What gifts do you possess?
Are you willing to allow God to use those gifts for His glory?
Lord, you have made me with marvelous gifts to contribute to the world, and I have buried them like the man in the parable who was afraid to lose his talent. Forgive my false humility and fear of my own ego, which serves no one and give me the grace necessary to use my gifts for Your glory. Thank you for making me truly special. Amen