Gift Exchange

from Romans 12…

6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

The last time I took a gifts test, I was disappointed that I didn’t have different gifts. (The test was from the book Strengths Finder.) I ended up with some gifts that I really didn’t see being used right now: Strategic, Responsibility, Achiever, Activator, and Developer.

I’m still considered to be just a “student” or an “intern”…  Leading out is not something I really get to do. Writing strategy and developing policies is also not part of a CPE resident’s job description. It’s not a place to “get creative” but to “go and do.” (Preferably without a lot of questioning.) And I don’t do well in a top-down, heavy-handed leadership structure. (Which, in case you wondered, is the norm in health care management, for a variety of reasons!)

So in a recent pity party, I was grumbling and asking God if I could have a “gift exchange.” I wanted to have different gifts. God pointed out to me rather clearly that these gifts which I think are “mine” are “HIS”. They were not given to me for ME. They were given to me for God’s use in the Church and in the world.

Yeah. I know all that. I still wanted to have other gifts. And while we’re at it, an overnight weight loss of oh, 40 pounds, be able to dance, write a best-seller, and maybe, just once, balance the checkbook without ripping out my hair…

(I told you it was a pity party…)

God’s grace gave me the gifts I have. My selfishness makes me covet others. In God’s time and in God’s place, I will be using the gifts I have been given. In the mean time, there’s other things I need to focus on, study, and gain confidence in using as my second layer skills.

As I thought about it, I realized that it’s human nature to covet the things we don’t have, either by what we can buy or what we look like. People with straight hair want curly, curly haired folks use straighteners. People who look too ‘baby faced’ pile on the body paint, while those with wrinkles get tucked, trimmed and lipo’d.

So part of accepting the gifts God has given me is seeing them as truly mine to use and give freely… to be content with the gifts God has put in me. And to use them with greater abandonment and greater skill every day.

I’m getting it. I’m getting it.

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