Sharpen Your Sword
“Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed." -Ecclesiastes 10:10
What kind of gifts has God given you? Have people always told you you were "good" or "great" at something?
If you've never been told that, no worries! Often, we don't know the gifts we have - but the truth is everyone has a gift and a purpose in the body of Christ. "The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable..." (1 Corinthians 12:21, 22) Conversely, some of us have so many gifts that we find it difficult to pick which ones to pursue! But, understanding and developing our giftedness is very important because it helps us to develop and define the purpose God has given us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Gifts can be 'natural', such as an aptitude for singing or management, or they can be 'spiritual' in nature, as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12. Spiritual gifts may be things such as prophecy or wisdom. But all gifts, whether they are 'natural' or 'spiritual' are designed for God's specific purpose for our lives.
With whatever gifts God has given us, we are called to discover, develop and sharpen those gifts and talents. (See the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14). We discover them by taking self-assessments, trying new things, and learning more about ourselves. We seek input from parents and spiritual leaders or maybe good friends who see what we may fail to recognize in ourselves. We develop our gifts by taking classes, practicing, or interning with someone who knows our specific aptitude. We continue to sharpen our skills and talents by progressing in our practice, inviting feedback, and learning from that feedback as we move toward mastery.
Have you discovered your gifts yet? Ask God what they are. Glean from others. Your gifts are directly related to your purpose. Ask God what He might want to do with those gifts, with His purpose in mind.
Related resource: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, by C. Peter Wagner