Essential #3: Using Your Gifts
Your Creator has gifted you in unique and wonderful ways. He’s crafted you with particular abilities and talents. When you develop your God-given attributes and use them to serve other people in love, great things can be accomplished. But if you try to function apart from your talents, or if you attempt to use your abilities in ways God didn’t intend, you’re headed for a life filled with anxiety, frustration, and failure.
If you’re going to reach your full potential in life, you must gain an awareness of what the Lord has given you. You must seek to know, develop, and then find God-approved ways to use your God-given talents.
The gifts and talents the Father designed for you were bestowed upon you at birth. A true natural gift is present in a person all his life. I cannot begin to tell you all the natural gifts that are part of human beings. But I can encourage you in this: There are thousands upon thousands of natural gifts, many of which are variations within some of the general gift categories below:
  • Aptitudes
  • Intelligence
  • Intuitive Ability
  • Emotions
  • Talent in a Particular Area of Work or Performance
  • Interests
  • Likes and Dislikes
In addition to the gifts noted above, God has also given every person the following:
  • Capacity
  • Propensities
  • Aspirations
  • Personality
  • Free Will
  • A Measure of Faith
  • A Conscience
  • Communication Ability 
  • A Network of Relationships
  • A Generation and A Location
In addition to the natural gifts God gave you at your creation, you also received what I call motivational gifts to prepare you for and prompt you to ministry in the body of Christ. These gifts are released after you receive Jesus as your Savior and begin to follow Him as your Lord.
The apostle Paul identified seven motivational gifts that we’re called to use in ministry or service within the body of Christ:
  • Prophesying—Proclaiming God’s Word
  • Ministering—Serving and helping to meet a need in someone else’s life
  • Teaching—Presenting information and principles from God’s Word
  • Exhorting—Intense encouragement to live out the Christian life
  • Giving—Expressions of time, treasure, and talent marked by generosity and faithfulness
  • Leading—Administering, organizing, or leading others
  • Showing Mercy—Expressions of kindness that point to God’s lovingkindness and His free offer of forgiveness made possible through Christ
No person can teach you how to fully blend all of the gifts the Lord has placed and released in you by the power of His Holy Spirit. Only God Himself can teach you everything you need to know about your giftedness. Only the Holy Spirit can do the work of shaping and coordinating all areas of your life so that they brightly reflect the light of the Lord. Take some time to consider the lists above, prayerfully asking the Father to reveal to you how He’s gifted you and how you can use your gifts and talents to fulfill the purpose He has for you on this earth.
Never forget your potential lies in the arena of your God-given giftedness. The very building blocks of your potential will always be the gifts He’s given you (Eph. 2:10). 


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