I am occasionally asked, “What if I’m not in a job where I can use the talents God invested in me?” or, “What if I don’t know what talents He has given me and how I can use them?”
Many authors offer answers, programs, and tools in response to these questions. Allow me to suggest that this is perhaps another example of us making the ways of God much harder than He designed.
The Psalmist cried out (139:14) that we are wonderfully made. God created you in a unique and wonderful pattern. You are one of a kind, from your fingerprints to your DNA. Jeremiah declared that God knew you and even formed you from your mother’s womb.
God equipped you for the tasks He wants you to complete. As a Christian, you are part of a collective body, each with exact gifts and a defined purpose. You have choices. You can ignore God’s call. You can rebel against His call. You can even keep your life so busy that it drowns out your ability to hear His call. However, his call is always there, never changing, waiting for you to hear and respond.
You can tell a tree by its fruits. Similarly, you can identify the talents designed in you by the fruits you produce. Have you ever noticed that there are people who love to dig in the dirt while others abhor anything less than spotless purity? Do you know people who are only satisfied when every step of their day is scheduled, while others are much happier winging it? You know people who insist on verbally engaging you in decisions and others who prefer to investigate and craft a solution before discussing an issue. We could repeat the contrasts through all walks of life.
The reality is that God has created you with unique gifts and talents. The question is, what are you doing or going to do with them? Will you invest them wisely, earning rewards in multiples of God’s investment? Or will you hedge against loss and bury them? We all cry that we want to hear “well done”.
God calls men and women to every walk of life. We are each one part of His body. So, instead of lamenting that you are not the hand, the foot, or the mouth, choose to be excited when you can be the liver because you can perform the functions God has created you better than anyone, ever!
Finding Your God-Given Gifts
So, to the question of what are your gifts and how to engage in opportunities to invest them: consider two promises God gave us in the book of James. To begin, He promised (4:8) that if we move closer to Him, He will move closer to us. He also promised us (1:5) that we need only ask if we don’t understand. With these promises in mind, consider asking yourself these three questions you can use to filter an investigation into your God-given gift.
What brings you joy, happiness, and fulfillment? What do you find yourself doing when you have free time? What things draw you when you are not at rest or distracting yourself with mindless recreation? If money were no object, what would your life create? You can trust God that He is a good Father (Matthew 7:9-11). He doesn’t endow us with gifts in one area and then send us to another.
Where do you see a need? What tugs at your heart when you look in your neighborhood or lands across the sea? What causes you to cry, saying you wish someone would help? I’m not referring to the theatrical presentations designed to make you pull out your checkbook and send your rent payment to an actor or actress claiming to aid those in need. Instead, ask God to reveal those areas and disciplines that He has designed you to fill. One certain identifier is when God shows you a need that can be met in compliance with Matthew 6:1. The tempter doesn’t play in that arena.
What can you wrap in love? I am talking here about the love described in Corinthians 13. God’s command is to love Him above all else and love our neighbor as ourselves. When your occupation is showering God’s charity-love down upon those He loves (John 3:16); you are investing wisely.
James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from God, and He doesn’t make mistakes. He has placed specific gifts in you. Choose today that you will use them and seek additional opportunities to use them. The more you realize this position, the lighter your load and the greater your satisfaction. And at the end of it all, you will enjoy hearing “well done!” In doing these things, you will practice your “workship.” You will be the light and salt in your world.
Finding your purpose can be a challenge; it certainly was for me. It took me a few decades to recognize and embrace my calling as a businessman. The two me’s had their separate compartments, and “ne’er the twain did meet.” I can now, however, embrace Christianity as an integral part of my business coaching and business coaching as an integral part of my Christianity. God handed me talents (whether 1, 5, or 10 is still uncertain) and expects me to invest them wisely. Among those talents is a passion for connecting business owners and other leaders professionally with their faith. I am here to support you if you are struggling or even curious on this front. I am more than happy to share what I’ve learned in these areas and how to apply Christian teachings to your business and leadership.