I had a lot of really, really good conversations today--some with older friends, some with newer friends, some with God.
I love a good conversation, don't you? There is something so nice about having a real, intelligent (maybe not always), meaningful conversation with another person. It's refreshing, especially when so many conversations I hear these days--or am sometimes unfortunately forced to be a part of--are filled with small talk and bad jokes and awkward silences. A real conversation is made of real, complete sentences and deep thoughts and a genuine interest in hearing the other person. I love them. They are what make (and keep) friendships strong.
So during one of my conversations today, my friend was giving me encouragement for my blog. She was explaining that God gives us gifts, and that he can't use us through them unless we actively use them ourselves. I believe that God has given me a passion for writing; I also believe that He wants to use me through it. But if I don't use it and use it well, how can he use me and the gifts He has given Me to bring Him glory?
And on that note, how selfish of us is it to keep our gifts to ourselves?
(Pause for a side story) I remember when I was really little and would sing in the car with my grandma, and she would always say, "Sarah Beth, you sure do have the prettiest voice. You should sing in church sometime. God gave you that voice, so you should use it."
Now that was just my grandma being partial to her 5-year-old granddaughter belting out Shania Twain, but what she said still held true: God didn't give us gifts and abilities to keep to ourselves. He gave them to us so we can further his kingdom.
I also think people get confused about gifts sometimes. Gifts are not always tangible things; they are not always athleticism or the ability to write a compelling novel or tear up a piano. There is the gift of love. There are the gifts of compassion and hospitality and listening and patience. All of these things God gave us to use. So why would we not use them? If we don't, we fail to reach our full potential in being who God created us to be.
This is all to say that a really good conversation with a really good friend brought a really good point to surface: I need to be a better servant with my gifts (not that I have a lot of them)--from writing to listening to academics.
So don't hold back! Use your gifts and use them well. (1 Peter 4:10)