6 We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, you should prophesy in proportion to your faith. 7 If your gift is service, devote yourself to serving. If your gift is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8 If your gift is encouragement, devote yourself to encouraging. The one giving should do it with no strings attached. The leader should lead with passion. The one showing mercy should be cheerful.
I used to love the visual arts. In fact, when I was in…I believe 6th grade, my art teacher submitted something I made in art class to an art studio that was displaying the artwork of local youth. My piece was chosen, we all got dressed up to see my piece on display, and I was then offered a year of free painting lessons at their studio out on Long Beach Island. I absolutely loved it! I can’t say I was some amazingly talented artist, but I was enthusiastic and found a lot of joy in creating all kinds of art. I always preferred drawing and painting to any sort of schoolwork.
As I grew older, I just sort of fell away from it. I still have a half finished painting still sitting on my easel. I was meeting with a mentor recently who questioned why I no longer dabbled in the arts. I could say I didn’t have time or that I’ve grown out of that interest – but the truth is I was scared of failing. It’s been years since I finished any sort of substantial art piece – what if I couldn’t create what I used to be able to create anymore?
Sometimes doing the things we enjoy, maybe even a little good at, can be scary. We expect our gifts to be of a certain caliber, and we compare ourselves to others. It stifles our gifts. It’s hard to not weigh and compare our joys and talents to that of others, but maybe if we just did what this Romans text is telling us to do and to just use our gifts, no more no less, than maybe we might flourish in ways we never thought we actually could.
Long story short, I recently made a trip to Michaels. Next step is being willing to fail, because I just might succeed.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Is there something you once really enjoyed doing, perhaps a hobby or skill, that you no longer do? What is keeping you from it? What’s one thing you can do to bring yourself closer to inviting that back into your life?
Prayer: Holy God, you have created all of us as unique beings with unique gifts. Encourage our spirits toward being daring enough to use, practice, and fail at those gifts. Keep us from being too scared to try.
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