Banish Boredom with Your Unique Gifts | February 20th, 2017
“I’m feeling a bit bored lately.” I had just overheard the lady in front of me talking to the cashier at the checkout counter in the grocery store.
I wish it would have been an appropriate time to ask her to join me for a cup of coffee right then and there so we could discuss her real reasons for boredom. All I could figure was that she must not know what incredible gifts she has been given by God to share with those around her!
The Purpose of Your Unique Gifts
Each one of us is blessed with unique gifts – special talents or natural abilities to be able to do something well in a way that no one else can.
Why are we given these gifts? One reason is that God desires for us to experience joy while reflecting His glory. Easily done when we are doing something we love using the talents He has given us. Another reason is so that we can use our gifts to show love to others, allowing people to see the love God has for them so they may come to know Him in a personal way.
We have all been given different gifts that are meant to be used for serving others. This is how we show love. You may have the gift of hospitality. Or, perhaps you have the gift of leadership. Maybe encouraging others comes easily for you. Whatever your gifts are, they can and should be used to serve others humbly and to the best of your ability.
These are gifts from God that should not be taken for granted and hidden away, never to be used. Instead, they should be put into practice whenever possible giving you more opportunities to serve others.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
You are a living, breathing instrument employed by God and appointed by Him to do the work of loving and serving others through the incredible gifts He has given you. That is a huge responsibility and one you should never take lightly.
It can be a complete mystery how sharing your gifts will affect a person’s decision in coming to know Christ. But God knows how it all works and He is entrusting you to be a good steward of those gifts which leaves no time for boredom!
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1
Discovering Your Unique Gifts
Perhaps, right now, you do not have a clue what your unique gifts could possibly be. I often hear people tell me they do not think they are good at anything. God’s Word says we ALL have gifts given to us for the purpose of being able to use them to serve others. If you are having a difficult time figuring out what your gifts are, ask God to reveal them to you. And He will.
Sometimes, discovering your unique gifts is a matter of finding what comes naturally to you. What is a particular strength you have that is perhaps fueled by your deepest passions? Do you experience great pleasure or joy when you are engaged in a particular hobby or activity?
Here are a few tools you can use to help you discover your gifts…
Travel back to your childhood
Think back as far as you can to the days even before you started school when you were fearless. What kinds of activities did you do that created the greatest memories? What do you remember having the most fun doing? How can you reinterpret this to correlate with your life as an adult? That just might be one of your unique gifts.
Lose track of time
Have you ever become so involved in an activity that you completely lost track of the time? Was it when you were hard at work or were you engrossed in an enjoyable hobby that took your mind away from the clock? Perhaps that might give you a clue about your natural gifts and abilities.
Ask close friends and family
People who know you best are able to observe you differently than you can observe yourself, often with much greater clarity than your own self-analysis. Ask close friends and family what they believe might be some of your greatest strengths and unique talents which might lead you in the direction toward figuring out your gifts.
Spend time with yourself
Take time to be alone without any distractions. Whether you only need a few hours or an entire week, it is important to have time to think in the quiet, journal your thoughts, and spend time talking to God and listening to what He reveals to you about your unique gifts and how He can use you to serve with those gifts.
Once you know your interests, strengths, and natural talents that make up your gifts, it is important to ask God for direction so you will know where you can use them best to serve others. He has already had it planned out way ahead of time. After you ask Him, He will provide plenty of opportunities for you on your journey through life to bless people using your gifts so they can experience God’s love for them.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
My Gift of Creativity
When I take old, well-worn vintage costume jewelry and repurpose it into something new and trendy for today, I am using my creativity. For example, here is a cut-steel shoe buckle from the late 1800s that I repurposed into a long, crystal beaded necklace with a silk tassel:
Not everyone has the ability to be creative in this particular way, so I know it is a unique gift with which God has blessed me.
Growing up without a television, I enjoyed being creative as a child. All I needed was a pair of scissors, construction paper, and some Elmer’s glue and I could keep occupied for hours! That creativity has stuck with me and I am simply using it in a different way now as an adult.
I often ask God to give me new ideas to use my creativity in ways that have eternal value for His kingdom. One of the most recent for me was to write a six-week Bible study called Beauty in a Life Repurposed:
After the book was published, it began to be used by churches and small groups because of doors that only God could have opened. I have continued to receive a continuous flow of new ideas from Him using my creativity for His kingdom. One thing is for sure…I never have a single moment to be bored!
Give Boredom the Boot
When you are not spending time using your gifts, there is plenty more you can be doing to keep from experiencing boredom that has lasting, eternal value.
- Spend quality time with your friends encouraging them and being a good listener for them.
- Get outside of your comfort zone and meet new friends who need to know about God’s love.
- Say “yes” whenever you possibly can when you are invited to events or gatherings, formal or informal.
Whenever I feel unmotivated to attend an event to which I have been graciously invited, I remember a favorite motto of mine:
“No matter how you feel…get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.”
I am always glad I showed up. I have met more new friends attending functions that I almost did not go to because I was tired or was not sure I would enjoy myself enough for the effort it took to get there.
But I think about these invitations differently now that I have made so many wonderful new connections in this way with people who God has determined to cross my path. They are people I can have opportunities to serve and show God’s love. As long as we are alive, there will always be someone who needs our help, our prayers, and our encouragement.
The devil absolutely loves it when people are bored. It means they are not pursuing the plans God has for them. They are aimless, living a life that is basically self-centered, not living to serve others. Their talents are wasted along with precious, limited time.
Boredom has got to be one of the devil’s favorites in his toolbox of devices used to keep people from sharing God’s love with others while reflecting His glory.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
To be “alert” means to not give him any chance of catching you off guard. A lion roars when he is very, very hungry. It is at that time when he is the most fierce, eagerly seeking his prey.
If you allow boredom to become a part of your life, that gives the enemy a good opportunity to “devour” you, keeping you away from doing God’s work. If you are able to show God’s love to others through serving them with your gifts, they might be drawn to Christ and have a personal relationship with Him. That is one more person the devil loses to his enemy.
Being a follower of Christ requires serving others. He knows exactly where you are needed most. He will give you the direction you need when you are willing to serve others with your gifts.
As you serve, know that you are serving Christ who will reward you with an incredible inheritance – eternal life in God’s kingdom!
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Once you are there, one of your greatest joys will be when you are face-to-face with so many of the people you served and loved on earth as a result of using your unique gifts for God’s glory.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
If you are struggling to figure out your unique gifts, ask God to reveal them to you. Once you know what they are, ask Him to show you how you can use them to serve others. Then, watch to see how He directs you!
Sparkler #2: Action
Banish boredom by being aware when any opportunities to serve come your way and then act on them. When you are not spending time serving, find ways to develop your unique gifts.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Be proactive. Find a way to serve others this month, perhaps through volunteering with an organization or seeking out a need of an individual. When you are serving, you will experience joy as you discover more about your own unique gifts, leading to new ways you can serve others.
*Toolbox – photo credit: florianric
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