Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Am Not My Gift

     Talents are truly a gift from God, but they are not who we are - they are simply what we can do.  From athletics, to teaching, to finances, to farming, to speaking, to decorating; the list goes on and on of all the special gifts that God has given to each one of us. It often amazes me when I see someone do something with such ease and exceptional performance with very little effort. It is true that the gifts that God blesses us with need to be developed and not treated as just something that comes natural to us. When we do something well we should immediately give honor to where the ability came from not the talent alone. Worshiping our talents seems pretty harsh words to a Christian, yet our words may just give us an indication of where our praise is really directed. As "a work in progress", I have learned and continue to learn to use my words wisely as I answer the question - "Who are you?"
     There are many things that I am not good at - far too many to count or type - but one area that I have always had a gift in is planning. Even from an early age I was planning and organizing everything from tea parties to play dates. As a teen I was probably the youngest customer and personal marketer for Franklin Covey, taking my planner to student council meetings and extra curricular activities. In college, from homecoming candidates to politicians I was often times recruited to help plan special events. Learning that in the business world people would pay good money to someone who could plan, organize, and execute strategies, I began pursuing a career in this arena. So it would not be surprising to say that there have been many times in my life when I have described myself as a planner - thinking of it more as a description of what I could do rather than who I was.
     While out for a drive one day, God gave me correction, not concerning how to steer my car but rather how to yield my God-given talents. For someone who planned and organized I had learned to seek God's wisdom regarding my schedule. There were so many years of my life that I lived in the bondage of being a work-a-colic and since I had found freedom in planning with God I never wanted to return to that life. I am not perfect, but had been consistent in the area of planning with God.  It is true that as "a work in progress" once we pass one test - it becomes a perfect time for Him to teach us something new. On that day, as I drove, I began to pray.  During my prayer time I kept stating that "I am a planner" - Then in my heart I heard these words:
"You are not A Planner, You are My Daughter"
     His voice was so loud in my spirit. I was speechless....for a few moments. I then began to speak again only to remind myself that God just gave me a powerful truth and to just drive and listen. God then reminded me of who I am outside of any reference of what I do.
     Who am I?
     I am a daughter of God...who plans.
     I am not my gift.
     Idolatry is an interesting thing, because at the root it is simply putting something else before God. So, am I saying that just because we sometimes title ourselves in reference to the gifts that God has given us that we are idol worshipers? No, but it sure should make us think about what we put first in our own lives. Can we find ourselves worshiping a plan, a song, a budget, a sport, or how about just merely the ability God gave us to do these things well?
     Description does get to the heart of the matter and that is really what God wants us to guard. I have studied who I am for years, but sometimes a slip of the tongue reveals an area that we need to revisit. As "a work in progress", when we identify with God first we are able to affectionately honor Him by effectively using the gifts that He has given to us.
     As a daughter of God through His Son Jesus Christ I am many things: Blessed, (Eph. 1:3); chosen, holy, blameless, (1:4); adopted; accepted (1:6); rooted and grounded in love (3:17); redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14); beloved, healthy, and prosperous (3 John 2)....and many, many, many, many, many more descriptions God has used to describe me.....oh and I plan too.

    Thank God that as "A Work in Progress"  I am not my gift, but merely have the ability to use it.

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