using what you have been given…

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31/10/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Life is too short to sit on the skills, abilities and gifts that you have been given. Don’t know what they are, or too hesitant to do anything with them? I understand that.

All my life I was knew I was a creative person. from the early years when classmates would ask me to decorate their homework I knew I had something artistic to offer. Somewhere in my early 20s that disappeared. I listened to the wrong voices and closed the door on future possibilities. I told myself that my abilities and gifts were neither valid, nor useful and I wasn’t “good enough” to bother. Sad. It took me over 10 years (and an encourager of a husband) to re-discover the skills within.

I realised a few things in the process:

  • It is no-one’s right (including yourself) to tell you your skills and abilities are not valid.
  • Assuming the input you are receiving is neither informed nor wise counsel, you need to be strong enough to close your ears to the negative messages and do what you know is right.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re not good enough (yet). Practise makes perfect (or, at least makes “better” gradually).
  • Your skills and abilities do not necessarily have to be what you are doing for a job (though you would probably be a more effective person if they were).
  • Your skills and abilities are an integral part of what makes up the uniqueness of who you are. To deny them is to deny yourself – and others – of the fullness of your character.

So often I have heard people say they are “not good at anything” (or anything important), so how do you identify the special skills, abilities and gifts that you have? Here are Sarah’s in-a-nutshell ideas:

  • When you talk about this subject your face will become animated.
  • You can stay up late at night talking about this subject.
  • You will make this subject a priority in your life – your time, your money, your efforts.
  • You will seek out others who share this interest.
  • You will want to learn more about this subject.
  • You have carried the essence of this interest for a long time – maybe your whole life.
  • I believe our skills, abilities and gifts come from God. Perhaps to find your gift you still need to meet the giver.

By acknowledging and developing your skills, abilities and gifts, you may be opening the door to make a difference in this world. You owe it to God (the giver of the gifts), to yourself and to all of us to be brave enough to try.

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