Our Maker gives assignments to people “each according to each one’s unique ability” (Mt 25:15)
I love this funny yet touching commercial by German Ad Agency Nordpol + Hamburg. The man in the advertisement is Wind (personified). Like Wind, some of us don’t understand our gifts or talents and carelessly use them for the wrong reasons. We are misunderstood because we ourselves misunderstand our gifts and our purpose.
Some of us are even unaware we possess any gift at all! … Ugh! Have you ever seen this t-shirt design anywhere? I came across it today while I was looking for some design inspiration.
So… if you are one of my friends and you think you’re useless and have no gifts, I will slap you, and I will be oh so happy to! Romans 12:6 says: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Each and everyone of us has a gift.
I’ll quote John Ortberg for a little reflection: “Have you been comparing what you’ve been given with someone else — physical appearance, intelligence, relationships, accomplishments, energy level, or temperament?
In the commercial, Wind was measuring his gifts through other people’s eyes. Comparing and wondering why he was different. Because he is different. We all are different, and comparing oneself with another either will discourage you or give you a proud and self-centered motivation — both are bound to eat you up sooner or later. I think it was Kurt Cobain who said, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” Because, as John Ortberg writes, “Comparison is not an adequate excuse for the tragedy of an unopened gift.” It is an inadequate excuse for your unrealized potential.
John Ortberg further explains, and I believe we must make this our personal pledges: “I must come to identify, cultivate, invest, prize, and enjoy the gifts that have been given to me. The Lord of the Gift is very wise. He knew exactly what he was doing when he created you. He is well-pleased that you exist.”
God created only one version of each of us and He is very well-pleased with our individual uniqueness. Repeat this to yourself and know it to be true. Accept it. I have accepted the gifts that have been given to me and I have also accepted that which have not been given, those are for another’s purpose. Going back to the commercial, after Wind felt that he was accepted by another, he accepted himself and was given a purpose to serve others.
Once we have discovered and uncovered our gifts, we must to look to the Lord to find out how we would be able to use our gifts in service of others and for the glory of God’s Kingdom. Arthur Miller writes that this is what lies at the heart of our faith: “It is using one’s endowed giftedness to serve the world with excellence and, through that service, to love and honor God!”
I’ll end with the New England preacher Jonathan Edwards, who lived by two resolutions: “Resolved first: that all men should live for the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do or not, I will.”