Discerning and using your gifts and talents for God
Discerning and using your gifts and talents so you can use them as God has called you to use them
Has someone told you before, “Wow! You are so good at that!” or “I wish I could do that like you can,” Or “You have such a gift!”? You may have thought to yourself, “This is no big deal. It comes easy to me.” Yet, you were being complimented on it. The person recognized a gift or talent that you have that he or she does not see in themselves.
We are not carbon copies of each other. God made us each different and unique. He gave us different gifts and talents so that we complement each other. How strange would it be if we could all do the same things well? It would be quite boring, too!
God made us because He loves us. He wants or us to love Him back and to share His love with others. One way we can do this is to identify and then use our gifts and talents to share His love with others.
How can I make a return to the Lord?
How can you reciprocate God’s love?
The answer has two parts: Part one is the same for everyone, and part two is tailor-made for each individual person.
The first answer is that you can reciprocate Gods’ love by loving Him back. The best way to do this is to be involved in the life of the Church: receive the Sacraments often, pray, study your faith, read the Bible, and grow in your faith.
The second answer is different for each person. God has given you gifts and talents that He has not given to anyone else. You have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” by Him (Psalm 139:14). You are unique.
Prayerfully discern what your talents are. Even if you know what some of them are, pray and ask God to reveal them to you. He may show you more talents that you do not realize you had (or that you do not even think are talents since they come so easy to you) or show you a different way to use your talents that you never thought of before.
For example, a friend of mine has been an artist for a very long time. Recently, she started teaching others how to paint. This has opened a whole new world to her-a new way to share her talent for painting and her gift for teaching with others so they, too, can create something beautiful. Even those who do not think they have an artistic bone in their bodies walk away with a beautiful painting because she guides them through each step carefully.
Ask God to show you how to use your talents and gifts for the purposes for which He gave them to you.
We are each made by God. We can know, love, and serve God out of love when we use our talents in the way He designed for us to use them.
Trust in God to let you know how to use your gifts and talents.
You may already be using your gifts and talents as God intends. Or, you may have no idea how to use the gifts and talents you know you have. Perhaps you have no idea what your gifts and talents are.
Do not fear. Just like a product comes with instructions on how to use it, God will give you the instructions on how to use the gifts and talents He has given you. He gave them to you for a reason. He will let you know how to use them.
If so where do you go from here?
Keep doing what you are doing.
If you are already using your gifts and talents as God intends, keep doing so. Stay prayerful, though. God may steer you in a direction you do not anticipate right now. In the future, He may reveal to you a new way to use your talent (like my friend who started teaching others how to paint), or He may reveal a new talent to you that you do not realize you have.
Ask God to help you.
If you have no idea how to use the gifts and talents you know you have, ask God to help you. He gave you your gifts and talents for a reason. He knows how, when, and where they can best be used. Pray about this and ask God to help and guide you to use your gifts and talents for the purposes for which He gave them to you. If you are looking for some more specific guidance on praying about a topic, see How to “Pray About It.”
One way many members of our parish use their talents is through the crafters’ ministry at our parish. People who sew, knit, crochet, build, and like making crafts get together monthly. A few times a year they have a sale at church to sell their wonderful projects and the profits benefit our parish.
If you have no idea what your gifts and talents are, pray. God knows why He gave you the gifts and talents that He gave you. Trust in Him. Ask Him for help. He will let you know. Be patient, tough! Sometimes He takes longer to answer than we like, but trust in Him; His timing is always perfect. How to “Pray About It” has many different ideas on how to pray about a specific intention.
Do not be envious of the gifts of others or prideful of your own.
Do you remember the questions at the beginning of the post: Has anyone ever told you before, “I wish I could do that like you can,” Or “You have such a gift!”? We have each been given different gifts. We are not all the same. Just because we do not have the same gift or talent as a friend (who we may think is quite amazing), does not mean we are less valuable. Just because we have a certain gift that others do not have does not mean we are better than they are.
You probably remember the passage from Corinthians 12: 4-7: “There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
God loves each one of us. He wants us to love one another as He loves us. We cannot allow jealousy or pride to get in the way of serving God. If we do, they can quickly and easily derail our purpose to love God and to serve Him.
He knows why He has given you the particular gifts He has given you. He wants you to use them for the purposes for which He has given them to you. He did not tell you to look at what everyone else is doing (or not doing). He wants you to be faithful to Him and use these great and wonderful gifts in the way He has designed for them to be used. He will help and guide you.
Keep discerning and using your gifts and talents as God calls you to.
God is pleased when we show Him our love and use well the gifts and talents He gives us. Take the time to discern what gifts and talents God has given you and ask Him to show you how He wants for you to use them.
God loves you. He created you in His own image. He gave you gifts and talents to use so you may love Him well and share His love with the world. Sometimes that world is the globe. Sometimes that world is your town. Sometimes that world is your family. Use your tailor-made gifts where you are right now. Don’t wait.