Thousands of books are sold annually to help people discover their purpose, which, in essence, tell them how they should be spending their time. As I wrote earlier this week, Christians should spend our time giving God glory, which means focusing our efforts to display that we belong to God and so that others will come to know Him. This is our purpose. But because each of us is unique, this purpose—how we spend our time—will look different from person to person. This time spent is based on our gifts and talents and God’s timing of when He wants us to use them for Him.
Even if you know that you were created to worship God, you may not know how you were created to do so or how to allocate your time to worship Him fully. So to help us ascertain how to spend our time wisely, I want you to always ask yourself three questions: “What are my gifts and talents?” “How do you, God, want me to use my gifts and talents?” And, “What difference will it make if I do this right now?”
What are my gifts and talents? A gift is something that God supernaturally gives to Christians to accomplish His work—which is making Him known, reflecting God in your life and sharing Him with others. While people use Holy Spirit-endowed gifts for their personal benefit, God didn’t give them for personal use. Whether you are on your job, walking down the street, in the mall or at the hair salon, your gifts should always reflect that you’re using them to glorify Jesus Christ. See 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4:11-12. If looking at these scriptures doesn’t give you a clue about your gifts, there are a number of gifts tests you can take. Team Ministry has one that’s pretty basic at www.churchgrowth.org.
Talents are those activities that you come natural to you and you excel in. Singing, dancing, writing, carpentry, sports, or any other skill apart from those listed in the above scriptures fall in this category.
How do you, God, want me to use my gifts and talents? Just because you know your gifts and talents doesn’t mean you can use them for whatever comes your way. You must seek God to find out how He wants you to use your gifts and talents. I hear so many people say that they don’t hear from God or don’t know how to hear from God. Well, John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. . .” Jesus says because you are His you hear His voice. The assumption is that 1) you belong to God and 2) you do what’s necessary to hear His voice. You must seek to get close to Him so you can hear Him. You do this through studying His word and constantly communing with Him through prayer, not just a daily set aside time but talking to Him throughout the day.
What difference will it make if I do this right now? Sometimes we are clear about our gifts and talents and how God wants us to use them, but our timing is off. I know at times I don’t properly prioritize; I take care of something that God has told me to do, but it is not the most pressing issue. I have forced myself to ask, “What difference will it make if I do this right now?” If I find that I will only feel good about it being done or that it will set my schedule back then I shouldn’t be engaged in it right then. And, of course, the opposite is true: I do it right then if I know God will be pleased and I will be on target with my schedule.
Always seeking God with these questions ensures the right path for our lives and that we will be using our time wisely to accomplish God’s will.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith