Everyone on this planet is gifted in one way or the other. No doubt! But does everybody knows his/her gift? Is talent enough? Kindly take a deep breath, relax and read systematically to the brief answers presented to the above questions.
I am of the view that there are four main categories of people when it comes to the usage of gifts
- Gifted but don’t know: There are people who are gifted, they function as such in their area of gifting yet they don’t know their gifts. Reasons are; they think their abilities are “normal” – everybody can and should do this, it’s easy. Well, for your own information, I was once in that category; I was encouraging and teaching people without knowing it was a gift – it came naturally in my conversation with people but I didn’t really give it my attention. Other reasons could be that some people simply don’t appreciate what they have. Even though they have their unique gifts, they yearn for the gifts of others. They look down on their gifts and on themselves. They find reasons to support their excuse of not exercising their gifts.
- Gifted but raw: These are people who have identified (know) their gifts but they don’t grow in their gifts. They often present their gifts in its raw state. They refuse to upgrade/improve themselves. They often think so far as they can exhibit certain features, it’s enough – they don’t see the need to change or get better. In his book, Talent is never enough, John C Maxwell remarked, “You have no control over how much talent you possess. You control only what you do with it.” That suggests that it’s our responsibility to use and develop our talent.
- Gifted but abuse their gifts: Myles Munroe said, “Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.” The word, “abuse” is in three folds; under-use, misuse, and over-use. Any of these three affect the flow of an individual’s talent. There are people who use their positive talent in a negative manner – they manipulate others and deviate from the right use of their talents. Caution: we shouldn’t worry our head on the question, “Am I effectively using my talents?” The truth is when you start using your gifts, you will know your limit.
- Gifted but wise: This category believes that talent is not enough and there is always room for improvement. They are teachable and have the quest to grow and develop themselves. They understand the impact of wisdom in the guidance of their gifts. They have the understanding that they are not supposed to say or do everything that originates from their gifts. Also, they read their situation and people and seek to know how best to package their gifts. One of the key expression of wisdom in relation to gifts is the story of Prophet Nathan and David. The prophet didn’t present the message of God in its raw state to the king. Instead in wisdom, he found a nice way to rebuke the king. (2 Samuel 12:1 – 14)
Wisdom is simply the right application of knowledge. Wisdom is the navigator of gifts. John Wooden said, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful” This reveals that we shouldn’t let our talents “get too much into our head” instead in all situations we should wisely present our talents bearing in mind that it was given to us.
Yes, you’re good in your gifting; what you say or do is really true but if not wisely expressed, your mannerism may dilute the import of your gift. God knows this has provided us with free access to wisdom (James 1:5). Let’s all seek wisdom and our gifts will never lose its relevance. In spite of the category you find yourself, I strongly believe that you have what it takes to guide your gifts with wisdom. It’s never too late.
P.S: Gifts and talents are used interchangeably.
God loves you and always want the best for you.