We Can!

understanding our god-given gifts and abilities, skills and abilities, Philippians 4:13
Today's devotion compliments the devotion "You Can't."

My husband knows he's not a writer. 

He doesn't even like texting. 

But when I managed and edited a devotional site, I learned not everyone understands their gifts like my husband does his. Some folks  "set their minds" on writing, "believe in themselves," and still aren't writers. 

And in the process, they lose opportunities to use their real gifts. 

We can waste our gifts pursuing "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:15-17). 

But we can also waste our gifts by failing to understand: 

1. Feedback--What do friends and family think we do well? 

2. Failures--What stresses us? What do we do badly? 

3. Opportunities--How has God developed and used our skills over time? (Hindsight.)

4. Desires--What brings us joy and purpose? This one is last because it's often misleading. ("Faith vs. Feeling.")

Bottom line: we can do all things through Christ! (Philippians 4:13).

How has God helped you recognize your gifts? If you're a subscriber, click the title on this devotion and come on site to leave a comment. If you're an onsite reader, please leave a comment below.

14 comments:

  1. Oh, Gail, this is really great! I so appreciate your thoughts about our gifts - recognizing them and using them to honor the Lord! Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and sharing wisdom from the Word of God with us! And thank your sweet husband for encouraging you! Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl. My husband really is an encourager for me. And thanks for your encouragement as well! : )

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  2. God greatly blessed me with the gift of painting and writing. I published a children's book in December, because I felt strongly that this was a mission. It clearly gives God the glory for his wondrous works. Sometimes, I think I should be doing more, and that maybe I was doing this for my own glory. I get doubts. Is He content with me sitting in my studio, painting and writing? That's not a question for you, but a question I ask myself...a lot!

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    1. I took a quick look at your book on Amazon, and it really is lovely. So glad you are using your God-given gifts. : )

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    2. Thank you so much for your kind words. You blessed me.

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  3. God gave me a gift to write and recently to draw portraits for over a year now. I know He truly desires to give us our heart's desire than we truly know it's His. Thank you this blessed me today.

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    1. It's always fulfilling to know we are using our gifts for God, isn't it? And sometimes we think that this only means doing Christian work, but any work that is committed to the Lord glorifies Him.

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  4. Thank you, so much! I am a stay at home mom of 4 (also a homeschooler) for about 5 years now and lately I have been really missing working. Resently I was able to volunteer for our homeschool group and set up a big book sale. I felt so great about it and got so many complements that I started missing that feeling of accomplishment. You know that part were you work and Achieve something. Sometimes (what feels like most times) staying home feels like a loosing battle, especially when you homeschool. Most days are very long with no brakes and you start to forget why God called you here. So thank you so very much for the reminder:). You alway seem to write about what I need to here. I love how God works!

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    1. Dear Amy,
      I've been where you are now (I was always a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled my children in Junior High and High School). I know how repetitive some of homeschooling and homemaking can be and often it is a "thankless" career--no paycheck or awards or promotions. Some moms get encouragement from husband and children and others don't even get much of that. Fortunately, the Lord is always there to comfort and encourage us. And I think it's a good thing to find ways to use your gifts. If I were to do it again, I would have taken some Bible classes or other classes at the local junior college that had nothing to do with my children and family, preparing me for the empty nest years. We can put our family first and still grow in our gifts. I'm glad you enjoyed organizing this book sale. It is obviously an area where you are gifted. I pray God will give you other opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment and growth.
      Gail : )

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  5. I liked how you outlined how to identify our gifts. I have always felt clueless about what my gifts are. Recently, I realized that was because I lacked confidence. Yes, our confidence should be in the Lord but He has given us areas that we naturally excel in and I am thankful for that. I look forward to reading your Bible Love Notes. Thank you so much for the time you spend in writing and preparing them.

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    1. Thank you, Judith, for your encouragement. You are a sweet friend. And you are so right--we can be confident...in Him : )

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  6. Thanks for this, Gail. I've been told I'm good at photography, but I don't know how to use that for God! I'm stumped.

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    1. Oh, my goodness, Gail.
      I just looked at your latest blog post.
      You are already using your photography for God's glory!!
      : )

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  7. I live by WWJD, I do a lot of creative things and donate them for missionary work. I do know God approves because Thomas Merton told us even if we are not doing something perfect He appreciates our trying. Even by trying to follow Jesus, I am giving all I can.

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