Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So, if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
The Apostle Paul identifies here in the Book of Romans certain aspects of our human makeup which we were born with and therefore have a natural inclination for its manifestation in our life. He refers to them as abilities. Some theologians call them motivational gifts. They result in acts of prophesying, servicing, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and being kind. Which one or more of these come natural for you?
One of the challenges we face early in life is to determine what are our natural talents that we can use as the foundation for building our skill-sets. Life is much easier and more satisfying when we employ God’s gifts of human endeavor into our work and play.
Yet, if you haven’t done so, you may want to try some of the online tests which allow you to gain insight into your natural and spiritual gifts. One spiritual test you can use is under the God, You & Work tab on this platform. There are many others – some more detail than others, but each may help you identify your natural strength and makeup.
Sometimes you may have to ask those around you for confirmation. Your parents, teachers, and coaches who have witnessed your growth over the years may shed some light. Also, those you meet at your workplace or socialize over similar interests could likewise clarify your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be shy to ask. Many want to know but few are willing to face the embarrassment of admitting they aren’t sure.
When I was in my twenties, I had the desire for business. Didn’t know specifically the career, industry, or direction to take. So, I tried every opportunity that came my way. Failure is a great teacher, but a costly one of time and resources. In hindsight, I would have been better off asking for directions instead of trying to do it myself. Looking back though, God used that time to draw me closer to HIM and led me to the people and community which opened the door for a full and satisfying career and life.
I was helped by mentors from the marketplace and church community; along with organizations like Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation which help me identify my strongest natural abilities in comparison with other professionals in their field. In addition, I read books and articles on faith, work, and business; and developed relationship with other Christ-followers who likewise had the desire to serve God and others through their work in the marketplace.
Looking back, one more easily can see the dots arranged in an orderly sequence from the young man leaning on the Incarnate God and having his steps directed toward one challenge after another into a life worth living.
Discover your God-given natural ability. Develop a skill-set upon them. Keep your mind on God’s macro plan for humanity which includes you and everyone else. And ask HIM to lead and direct you in your work, play, and relationships while you manage the challenges of life’s ups and downs, pains and pleasures, and failures and successes; everything at the end of your life will happen better than your early expectations.
God is good. He has wired you for good work. But you need to exercise some judgement and motivation to experience what HE has laid out for your life. The potential is there, and you begin by first knowing HIM and allowing HIM to lead you to discover how HE has wired you.
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