Develop Your God-Given Gifts
Each of us are so different. Now, the beautiful thing is we understand as followers of Jesus Christ and those with the biblical world view, that God has created us. He's wired us with these gifts and skills, that together, are intended to work together for the furtherance of the Gospel and the Kingdom.
We are each unique. I'm amazed when I look at the people in my church, in my family, and those closest to me. God has uniquely wired us. I have loved ones that are so hospitable and some that are so organized. Some are great teachers, and some are great counselors and listeners. Some of them are just willing to roll up their sleeves and work. They just have common sense and business sense, and they each have this unique gift that comes from the Lord.
Now here's the thing that I want to remind you of today, and that is you have to develop your gifts. You have to sharpen those gifts. Yes, God gives us gifts, but we have to work at them every day. My dad was great at basketball in high school and college. He holds many national records, but just because he was great at basketball didn't mean he ever stopped practicing. It didn't mean that he could skip those practices and the hard work. No. He had to work at sharpening those skills and developing those skills. That's what you and I have to do every day.
How has God wired you? Are you sharpening those skills? When you look at people around you that are making a difference, that are making an impact, I can guarantee you they are sharpening their skills. They're not sitting around idle. Go back and look at the people in the Bible. Think about Samuel. I was talking to someone about Samuel the other day. Samuel learned by watching Eli. Think about David; David spent all those years as a shepherd boy perfecting his skill with the slingshot. It really came in handy when he was faced with that giant, Goliath.
What about in the New Testament? Think about Timothy. Timothy had Paul, and Paul helped him develop those skills. The Bible is full of these kind of examples of developing skills. When you look around you, those that are really doing things and doing things well, making a difference, and making things happen, they aren't just sitting around idle; they are developing their skills.
Here's the frog I want you to eat today. You hear me talk a lot about eating the frog first. Mark Twain said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, that nothing worse will happen the rest of the day. When I say I want you to eat the frog first, I want you to do the most difficult, yet the most important thing first. Here's what it is today: I want you to think about this. What can you do today to sharpen your skills, your gifts, your talents, or whatever it is that you call it? What can you do to sharpen that which God has given you, the way God has wired you? That thing that makes you unique, that thing that helps you in your ministry; that helps you in your business; that helps you lead well; that helps you relate well, how can you develop that in your life?
I want you to think about it today, and I want you to think about it tomorrow. I want you to think about it the following day, the following week, and the following month until it really becomes a pattern of your life, where you are constantly developing your skills.
"Ryan, how do I develop my skills?" Great question; glad you asked. There are lots of ways to develop your skills. The first thing that comes to my mind is you need to find someone who has the skills that you desire or is growing in an area that you need to grow. Observe them, and imitate what they're doing. Imitate their practices. Grow to be like them. Read what they have to say. Listen to what they have to speak. Hang around them, and get in close proximity to them as much as you can.
It really boils down to this; just always be willing to grow. What's something you can do today to grow this skill in your life? You do not want to get comfortable with where you are. You do not want to get comfortable with where you've been. I want you to constantly be stretching yourself to grow. Pastor Rick Warren said once that growing leaders are happy leaders, and if you want to be happy, if you want to be successful, you need to be growing. Remember that leadership is not a destination. Whether you are leading in the ministry or the marketplace, whether you are leading in the secular or the sacred, you will never arrive. I will never arrive. You will never arrive. It is a journey, and in the journey, I need you to always be growing.
Go sharpen those skills. As you develop the habits in your life of sharpening and developing those skills, I'm telling you what, it's going to be a huge, huge game changer for you, and everyone around you is going to notice it.
Your #1 fan,