We are all born with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, talents and gifts, personality and spiritual gifts. Some of us are extroverts, some introverts. Some are optimists, some more melancholy and questioning. Some are known for intelligence, some for creativity, others are talented mechanically and for crafts. Each of us was purposely created with our own special mix of attributes and have a purpose and calling that is connected. If we can celebrate that each snowflake is unique and star in the sky and fingerprint, why not celebrate how special you are?
The “grass is greener” attitude seems to infect people in many situations. We often wish we were more like someone we know whose talent or personality is different. But if we can grasp that THIS is the way we were created to be and live to be the best at who we are, using the abilities and personality we have, then we are successful and pleasing to God who created us.
I personally love to read and to speak to groups. I have expressed my desire to do more public speaking ministry and had others respond like I was crazy, as that is the last thing they would want to do. I have talked to others who wish they were more able to express themselves. But most likely, they have a different strength and calling accompanying it, and they are to follow that path. I recall a conversation with a friend who is quiet and not as skilled in speaking, but is very kind and called to intercede for others. I encouraged her to move in what she is gifted at, as it has value too, and she will be fulfilling her purpose.
Several years ago, I was co-chair of a woman’s conference. My friend and I planned much of the conference and were organizers, speakers, and in a skit. But I have never forgotten the woman who worked behind the scenes to prepare the coffee and refreshments. It took a huge burden off us to know that she was bearing that responsibility and doing an excellent job. I remember thinking that this was a living example of the body of Christ, with each person moving in their own gifting and playing part of the whole being.
After the death of my first husband, I was bombarded with so many responsibilities and duties that had to be handled. I was able to do most of it but there were so many that I hated doing. And because they weren’t tasks that I was skilled at or enjoyed doing, they took more time and probably would have been done better by someone who was more expert at that. I developed the philosophy of delegating whatever I could of things I didn’t like or wasn’t best at. I still believe that is a good approach and what makes leaders who can delegate and not micro-manage successful.
One of the best things we can give to our children as we raise them is a sense of their unique and special identity, confirming the gifts and talents that we see in them. Our words hold tremendous power so affirmation has positive impact while negative, critical comments can destroy self-esteem and acceptance of who they are. Too often, parents set expectations for their children to fulfill their hopes and dreams for them, rather than encouraging the dreams and goals on the children’s hearts. It has been rewarding for both me and my children to help them explore their various interests and enable them to get the education and experiences to follow the career path they chose.
As you grew up, were you encouraged to embrace your unique identity and to follow your own dreams and goals?
Have you explored what your temperament, personality and strengths are?
Have you applied that knowledge in your life choices?