If you don’t discover your gift you will always be miserable and feel unfilled.
In this Medium article I worry about having the skills or knowledge to live my life on purpose. I wrote the article after a conversation I had with one of my sons. It was a time when I was contemplating my empty nest.
I mentioned to him that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life going forward. I told him I had no skills. No longer employed and no interest in doing anymore 9-5, I worried about not having the skills, talent or gift to offer anyone anything in exchange for money.
It’s something that plagues us from time to time. And I think the reason is that we find ourselves doing something in life that we thought was what we should be doing. We have a degree in it or we’re told we should be a doctor or a lawyer.
Is it any wonder most of us are unhappy and find ourselves grinding miserably through life. Frustrated and burnt out from spending most of our daily lives doing what we do not love.
It’s why we hate Mondays and breathe a huge sigh of relief when Friday comes. I truly believe that it’s also the reason global workplace engagement is only 21% among employees.
But how do you know what you should be doing if not what you’re doing right now? And how do you discover what your gift is?
The first key is to know what a gift is. In this definition a gift is described as a natural power or ability that is bestowed upon us.
Below are my thoughts on how to discover, develop, and use your gift.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”~ James 1:17
Do we all have a gift?
And does everyone have a gift? This question is answered in 1 Peter 4:10…
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace”.1 Peter 4:10
Yes, everyone has a gift. Sometimes it’s obvious what it is but other times we have to search within to discover what that gift is.
Christians are often reminded about their God-given gifts which they are encouraged to develop in service to God’s kingdom. Spiritual gifts are spiritual abilities that God gives to every believer.
They can be found in all aspects of life and can span across many disciplines such as evangelism, teaching, or the arts.
The truth is that we all have gifts. But it’s up to us to recognize what that gift is, develop it, and use it to serve others.
What does having a gift mean?
A gift is a natural power or ability that is bestowed on us. Sometimes we talk about people such as musicians or artists that are gifted. But each of us has a gift. We can all be gifted. But the reason we are not “gifted” is because we have not made it our responsibility to develop and use our gift.
For example, gifted musicians and artists spend most of their waking lives practicing their crafts. The more they practice the more the “naturalness” of their gift comes through.
Each of us has a gift. But we must …”stir up the gift that is within us.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
Let’s continue to explore what it means to have a gift and why it’s important to discover it.
Having a gift means that you are empowered with special powers to affect change. Not just in your life but in the life of someone else. Everyone has this special power to influence others. The challenge is to discover what your gift is.
How can you discover your gift?
As mentioned above, musicians, actors, speakers, they all have gifts. Some may call them talented. But these people and millions of others recognized the gift in their possession. Then they work hard to learn how to develop their gift.
They’ve also found a way to use that gift to help themselves and serve others. But how do you get to the place where you are able to use your gifts for your benefit and the benefit of others?
Get to Know Who You Are
The second key to discovering your gift is knowing who you are – self-awareness. More importantly, know whose you are.
At the heart of discovering your gift is figuring out who you are. So who are you? And why are you here?
You might say “I’m a mom” or “I’m a CEO”. But are you really?
Take some time to look inside yourself. Seek to know who you are as a person.
Because the reason you feel unfulfilled is because you are not living your authentic self.
“The most powerful you is the authentic you”.~ Lisa Osteen Comes
- Discover who you are in Christ. Anchoring yourself in your rightful place as a Christian will help you gain the confidence to know whose you are.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”~ Ephesians 2:10
- See yourself as God sees you. As a child of God you are given special “status” in his kingdom. You not only possess innate gifts but you’ve also been endowed with spiritual gifts. Psalm – fearfully and wonderfully made
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”~ Psalm 139:14
- Discover who you are as a person. Mom, employee, entrepreneur describes your status in life. But who are you as a person? Consider this when you are going through this exercise. Write down your thoughts. Know your worth. You are valuable.
Self-discovery is getting to know the most authentic you
We all have something that we can do better than anyone else in the world. But what if you’re not living and using your gift? What if you’re not being true to yourself and you’re effectively living someone else’s life?
“The greatest tragedy in life is to not use your God-given gift”.~~ Unknown
It’s impossible to live the life you were meant to until you connect with who you are. Only then will the gift you were blessed with will give your life meaning.
So what is your gift?
Discovering who you are as a person will help you connect with your God-given gifts. Once you discover your gift and understand who you are as a person, then it’s up to you to develop your gift.
Ways to Develop your gift
- Study / learn/self-educate: Scriptures encourage us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15). It is encouraging that God not only endows us with gifts but he also wants us to use them. So He admonishes us to find ways to become better. For example, if your gift is counseling, take a course, get a degree, or become certified. Only you know what you need to become the best counselor you can be.
- Practice. My son aptly told me that if writing was my gift then I should write. The only way to be “gifted” is to practice your craft. There is a good reason people spend hours in the studio. Because they want to be the best. They want to excel with their gift. You won’t be any good if you don’t practice. This is how you develop the gift that is within you.
- Use your gift. Don’t sit on it. Jesus encourages us to “let our light shine” (Matthew 5:16). Also, when the person with the one talent buried it, he only had one talent at the end. Unlike the others who doubled their talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Use your gift to transform your life and positively influence the life of others. To serve.
Why you need to discover your gifts
It’s important to discover your gift because it will help you:
- Live a meaningful life with joy and fulfillment.
- Because it’s God’s will for your life. (Romans 12:2)
- To serve others. Serving others gives our lives fulfillment. It also provides a way for us to take care of ourselves and our families financially.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (1 Peter 4:10)
Discovering the gift that’s inside of you and using it to create a life filled with meaning and happiness is the ultimate way to fulfill your purpose.
Also, we don’t just have one gift. I believe and scripture supports this that we’re not restricted to one gift. My hope is that this article will help you discover your gifts so you can live the life you were meant to.
A life on purpose.