What is your Gift? Your Calling?
A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.”
– Proverbs 18:16
When I was younger, I understood this verse to mean that if you bring a physical gift, it will open doors for you – you will obtain favor from whoever you gave it to. I thought it was sort of when you bring a bottle of wine and give it to the friend who invited you for supper. I was wrong.
I now understand that this verse has nothing to do with physical gifts. Rather, it speaks of the gift you carry inside. Your unique talent or ability. The thing you do better than most people effortlessly. You know, that thing that when you do it, people commend you and ask for more. That thing that you do which comes easy to you, and yet, blesses others… that’s your gift.
Everybody has a gift. It was given to you by God. Unfortunately, not everybody develops their gift. Your gift was made to be given away.
This famous painter said:
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
Let’s face it: The world doesn’t have much room for us. It’s a jungle out there. It’s a dog eat dog world. We try to make room for ourselves by playing the elbows and pushing our way through and against the maddening crowd. But that’s the wrong approach. The right approach consists of you discovering your unique gift or ability, or talent, and serving it graciously to people. This is what will make room for you.
I’ll give you an example:
The movie One Chance (2013) is the true story of Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night who became a phenomenon after being chosen for — and ultimately winning — Britain’s Got Talent (2007). His story was one of perseverance in serving his gift to the world in spite of many obstacles and challenges. But in the end, not only does he win the Britain’s Got Talent competition; but he ends up being invited to sing in front of the Queen of England… His gift made room for him and brought him before great men (In this case, a great woman)
Another great example is the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Most of you remember the story… he was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. While in jail, he met Pharaoh’s chief butler. The butler had a dream and Joseph interpreted it correctly and told him he would be reinstated in Pharaoh’s service – and he was. But the butler forgot about Joseph until, one day, the Pharaoh had a dream that nobody was able to interpret… That is when the butler remembered Joseph. So Joseph was brought before Pharaoh. And the rest, as they say, is history. Joseph went on to become prime minister in Egypt – second only to Pharaoh. It was his gift that brought him before a great man. His gift made room for him, and brought him before Pharaoh.
Now, knowing what I told you today, do you understand the urgency that lies behind you finding your unique gift and serving it to the world? Your gift serves a double purpose:
- It blesses others, and because of that, it ends up…
- Blessing you
Now, you may ask, how do I find my gift. How do I find my purpose. I can’t go in detail here. But here are a few simple things to consider:
- What do you absolutely love to do?
- What do people ask more of from you. That thing that you do that makes people beg for more. Are you an amazing landscaper? Artist? Singer? Jeweller? Cook? Writer?
- Think, ponder, what is that one thing that you do better than everybody and that you love to do – chances are, this might be your unique gift to the world.
If you are a believer, ask God to reveal to you what your gift and purpose is. I once told a friend, tug on his robe constantly day in, day out, during the night… until He reveals it to you.
I will leave you on that and I hope that people will make room for you because of the generous use of your gift. And may it bring YOU, before great men.
Books I recommend to help you assess your Strengths: