“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
There have been many times in my life that I had no idea what my gift was. Growing up, I excelled in math and the sciences. When I took my SATs, I fully expected to do much better in math than in verbal (there was no essay section when I took it). Much to my surprise, I scored exactly the same on both sections. Even then, I only saw math as my future.
My own need to be “important” and chase the “prestigious” careers blinded me to what I really cared about. I have always had a love of books, though moreso stories. Whether it was a great ballad, a video game, or book, I am drawn to the emotion and depth of the story. And I almost missed it.
We can not afford to miss it though. Each of us has a wonderful gift given to us by our Maker. No person has the same gift. Only us. Some of us are musicians. Some are lawyers. Some are personal trainers. Some are ministers. None of us go about these the same way as others.
First, we must realize what it is that we have been given. When I became a Christian (despite my name, I was not previously one), my eyes were opened to what I was made to do when I was given a chance to work on the ministry newsletter. I was able to write short messages and sermons for the youth ministry and the twenty-something ministry. It was as though I finally found the key to unlock the treasure chest I had clawed at all my life. Only in God did I find my purpose, which I suppose should not be all that surprising.
He has made us for a specific purpose. And we must make ourselves trustworthy stewards of the gifts we have been given. Our lives are not so long that we have time to squander them. And I can only speak for myself, but it was only when I found my gift that I also found my passion. They are inseparable to me now. I think this to be true of all people.
There is an important note found in the scripture: the gift is for the sake of serving others. Our gifts are not to be used for selfish purposes. As stewards, we must be sure not just to use our gifts, but to use them well.