Gifts and Abilities: Are you faking it?
Are you trying to fit a square ”gift” in a round ”gift” hole? I recently read a study, that of 350,000 people; four out of five people have jobs or careers that do not match their gifts and abilities. The study went on to suggest that the commonly used guidelines for hiring, like education and experience, do not serve as good prediction indicators on how well an applicant may do in a particular position. It seems that what makes a good job fit depends on the inner aptitudes of gifts or abilities one may have for a certain type of work.
When things ”fit” correctly the operations are usually smooth with little problems but when you attempt to fake or force a ”fit” you will generally run into issues. Once a week I help an English as a second language student after school with subjects he may need help with. Usually we are working on studies that require a lot of English translation like history, reading, or science. This week however he wanted me to help with math! Oh boy, I thought to myself, this is not my area of ability by any stretch of the imagination, as it is not my gift. I immediately reminded him of this, but he insisted this was what he needed help with this day. I agreed to look at it and was so relieved that we did not need to work out algebra or calculus equations but instead research the history of particular mathematicians, this I could do as it is a strong suit of mine. Mathematics is not my given gift or ability and I do not do well faking it. Forcing me to do math would only amount to a massive equation of disaster for anyone involved, because the right math parts and instructions, just do not ”fit” for me.
You can only fake things so far before it is obvious that it justÂ isn’tÂ goingÂ to work, much like the man who ordered a tree house over the internet. When the box arrived, it had printed on the top, some assembly required. The man immediately started by laying all the odd and unusual parts sent on the floor and then began reading the instructions. As he read the instructions, whichÂ indeed were for a tree house, he looked back over the parts on the floor, and quickly realized with dismay that the parts were for a sail boat! The next day, he sent an angry e-mail message to the company complaining about the mix-up. He received the following reply: ”We are truly sorry for the error in the mix-up and inconvenience. However, it might make you feel better to consider the fascinating possibility that somewhere today there is someone out on water trying to sail your tree house.”
Is someone trying to sail your tree house or have you nailed a sailboat up in the tree? When we get ready to put something together or accomplish a task we have to have both the right equipment and knowledge, for success to occur. God has given each one of us different gifts or abilities to use while serving others and honoring God. Our focus verse this week emphasizes this. As we live our life for God, these gifts or abilities granted are not for our sole enjoyment, as we are to share with others. God has not left any of us behind in the gifts and abilities area and by using what we are given, we are all to work together serving one another for His purpose. It is not what our gifts or abilities are that matters; just that we are honoring God while serving others with the gifts or abilities we are given.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
Gifts and Abilities: Serve Others, Honor God
The instructions are simple, the plan clear, but yet we tend to complicate what we are given by seeking ”world vision” over ”God vision”. Too often we find ourselves faking it to make it in the world. We may be serving ourselves or we may be unhappy in the positions we do have, because we are not using the gifts or abilities that God gave us. Sometimes we may even find ourselves whining that we have no gifts or abilities, but this week’s verse is clear telling us that God gave us each a different gift. If we believe and understand this, we will not insist that we don’t have any gifts or abilities. Neither would we be consistently dissatisfied that we didn’t have what others did.
We have nothing to do with how many gifts and abilities we’re given, or how little; but with what we do with what we have. This true statement by S.D. Gordon should speak to our heart and squelch our whining. Gordon went on to say that, the man with great talent is apt to be puffed up, and the man with little talent to belittle the little and with this thinking both become fools! God gives it, great or small, it is our part to be gracious and faithful, doing the best with every bit and scrap gifted to us.
If you struggle to use the gifts and abilities, you have been given to serve others while honoring God; then maybe it is time to reevaluate what you are doing. Perhaps you are faking it but not making it. You can’t force a fit. There is a story of a man who caught three trout from a mountain stream and carefully placed them side-by-side on a thick, lush, patch of the greenness grass he could find. Before he removed them from the water, they were like a liquid ballet in motion; fluid, graceful, vibrant, and alive.
Things changed after he caught them, their life became a different story. As the trout lay on the grass, they were motionless with fixed eyes. They gasped for air and their senses appeared dulled. The man noticed that they seemed unhappy, so he talked to them, so hoping that his encouragement would change them.
”Little fish don’t be sad. You’ll like the grass. Just try it out for a while.” But there was no movement, no response, and no change. A neighbor walked by. ”Hey, Bob! Come and look at these fish!” Bob sauntered over and the man explained that he was certain the fish could adjust. ”I’m sure they could prosper here on the grass. Don’t you agree?”
”I don’t see why not?” Bob replied. So he too tried to tell the fish it would be good if they learned to like the grass. After all, he liked the grass. Why shouldn’t they? But still the fish didn’t respond, their eyes didn’t move and their senses appeared even duller.
Finally, a little boy approached and exclaimed, ”What are you doing? Put them back! They can’t be all they’ve been created to be when they are out of the water.”
Finally convinced, the man carefully placed each fish back in the stream. The fish splashed for a split second and all three swam away effortlessly. Once again, it was like a liquid ballet; with ease, grace, and beauty. It was in that moment, that the man realized that no matter how long the fish lay there they would never adjust to the grass, they would never be satisfied, no matter how much he or anyone else told them otherwise. Even if the fish tried to convince themselves they could learn to like the grass, they never would prosper, and eventually they would die.
Are you like a fish out of water trying to survive without using the gifts and abilities God made and gave you? Maybe it is time you are challenged, convicted, and determined to find your gifts and abilities and use them to honor and serve God. If you are unsure of your gifts and abilities or still trying to determine how to use them, look around and see if there is a need to serve others in your church or community; if so take it, as you may discover a gift or ability, you did not know you had.
We should all be motivated to honor God in all we do for we are greatly comforted that He has given us each a particular gift or ability to serve His purpose.
Love in Christ,
How will you answer to God when asked; what you have done with what He has given you?
We are saved to serve.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rick Warren
Credits -Â S.D. Gordon ”“ The Bent-Knee Time;Â Shana Schutte - Fish story www.runtogodministries.org
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you struggle with your gifts and abilities? Are you serving God with what He has given you? Can you confidently answer to God with what He has given you? Join us in discussion on the topic of God’s gifts and abilities to you.