In our office, the Christmas tree is still standing at one corner of the lobby. Under it, some beautifully wrapped and decorated boxes of gifts are piled. The enticing wrappers are adorned with vermilion and golden ribbons.
You might have received a number of gifts last Christmas or New Year – from your officemates, friends, corporate partners, family, and loved ones. These are quiet reminders of how generous people can be at this time of the year.
Have you already opened the gifts and put them in use? Or did you just lock them into your closet until you completely forget about them? When we use the gifts that were especially cherry-picked for us, our givers are happy. Such gesture shows how much we appreciate them for taking the time, effort, and resources that accompany the noble act of giving.
But beyond these tangible things, everyone is blessed with gifts that are waiting to be discovered, unwrapped, or cultivated. They come in the form of personality, intelligence, talents, skills, and abilities that shape us in the best persons that we can possibly be.
Sometimes the hindrance to finding our true gifts rest in our custom of conforming to the expectations of others. We tend to forget our real self and the very uniqueness that was accorded to us.
Realizing our gifts require that we focus on ourselves and stay away from people who are trying to change us into somebody that we have not been shaped to be.
Similarly, comparing ourselves with others does not help us in our quest. The reason was well expressed by American writer Max Ehrmann in his poem “Desiderata” when he wrote, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
People may feel downhearted when they see that their gifts do not match others’ so they become envious and try to covet someone else’s gifts. We have to learn to concentrate on our own gifts, do well with it, and let them complement those of the others.
The world offers limitless opportunities that we can take advantage of to discover our true potentials. Be bold enough and try new things. You will never know unless you try. I would have never known that I can write if I did not try writing my first article on this blog in February 2013. I capitalized on few positive feedback that I received about my random posts from readers I did not even know. It dawned on me then that this is the gift God wants me to nurture, for every time I am having difficulty producing a content, I ask for His wisdom, and He sends His answers through people and circumstances I never imagined I could extract a story from. It took time but I eventually ended up to it, and I have no regrets that I waited for so long. The Bible says, “There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV).
We are reminded by the “Parable of the Talents” to diligently use what has been entrusted to us in a manner that delights the Giver.
Do you use your gift of the gab to appreciate, encourage, motivate or do you use it to accuse, gossip, humiliate, and dishearten others? Does your leadership help others become better followers or does it make them worse, reluctant adherents? Does your power promote peace and harmony or does it spread turmoil and division? Does your financial acumen assist others to become financially sound or does it deceive them for your own enrichment? Does your music sedate the troubled spirits or does it drive listeners crazy? Does your teaching indoctrinate young minds to become models of citizenry or does it brainwash them to turn into bad rebels of the society? Do your dexterous hands build longer bridges of friendship or do they erect higher walls of discord?
Recently, I have met two bloggers online and admired them at how they are using their gifts to inspire others.
When we use our gifts according to God’s plan, they are magnified. When they remain unused, they waste away. Make the most out of your gifts, nurture it with continuous practice, and utilize it for the delight of your Giver.
“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” – Matthew 25:29 NKJV
God has given us the best gifts that we deserve and what we do with what He has given us is the best gift we can give Him back.