For years, I thought the responsibility of decorating the church for Christmas should be mine, since I was the pastor’s wife. In November, I would start thinking about the hours I would have to spend hanging lights and making wreaths. I would become physically sick at the thought of the trip I would have to take to Hobby Lobby. The worst part of it was, that even though I would try so hard for it to look just right, it never did. After all of the fretting and planning and physical labor, it never looked that great. The truth is, I’m not very talented at decorating. I just did it because I thought that was what was expected of me.
Finally, one year a husband and wife team told me that they loved decorating, and if there were ever any opportunities to decorate at the church, they would love to do it. They invited me to their house so that I could see their decorating skills. I was blown away. It was a small, modest home, but the décor was gorgeous! He would paint, build things, install flooring, etc., and she sewed curtains and pillows and arranged accessories. They were quite an impressive team. I asked them if they would like to decorate the church for Christmas that year and they jumped at the chance. That year, our church Christmas decorations should have been featured on an HGTV show. I was amazed at what they did. It was perfect!
If I hadn’t stepped aside and let someone else do the job, then someone who the Lord had gifted in that area wouldn’t have been able to exercise their gift. I learned that I needed to drop the preconceived notions about what I “should” be good at, and identify my true talents.
We’ve been warned of “getting the big head” so we often downplay our strengths and talents because we don’t want to sound conceited. One of my sons is a high school senior and he is taking a couple of college courses--College Algebra and Freshman Comp I. He struggles in the math class, but he excels in the English class. A few weeks ago, I told him that he had a real talent for writing. He makes high As or perfect scores on all of his essays and it comes very easily to him. He wouldn’t agree with me for a while. He said, “Nah, it’s just easy.”
It took me some time to convince him that writing doesn’t come easily for everyone, and that he is actually talented in that area. Why is it that we are quick to identify our weaknesses, but we reluctantly recognize our talents? The Lord gave you that talent for a purpose. Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Identify your talents, thank the Lord for them, humbly acknowledge that without Him we are nothing, and develop and use those talents for Him!
Why is it that we are quick to identify our weaknesses, but we reluctantly recognize our talents?
If you have a talent for working with children, perhaps you should take some education courses and use your gift in the children’s ministry. If you have a talent for working with numbers, perhaps you should take a bookkeeping course and assist with the church finances. Let’s get rid of the idea that there is a set mold we have to fit into.
Of course, we have to remain flexible. There will be times when we must operate in an area we are not gifted in. (Believe me, I have a minute amount of musical talent and I had to serve as the worship leader for a time because there simply wasn’t anyone else.) But, when we can, let’s use our unique gifts for His service. There’s a great joy that comes when we stay in our lane, developing, growing, honing, and using the talent we’ve been given.
My Real Talents is Entry Three in our December 2018 blog series, The Real Me. Join us each week throughout this month as we feature four entries from Sanctuary team member, Martha Fouts.
Martha Fouts and her husband, Kevin, of 23 years have three boys, ages 17, 16 and 14. Her primary passion in ministry at Discovery Church (Yukon, OK), where the couple are lead pastors, is to serve wherever she is needed, from women's ministry to hospitality. But her personal passion is to write. With four books to her credit, as well as a blog, Martha has a wide variety of offerings for the female reader. When she manages to find free time between her taxi services to three active boys, Martha loves to go shopping or snuggle up with a good book. Looking for a new book to read? Martha has recently published a new book! You can find her works at Amazon or your favorite e-book retailer.