Something is falling together for me from various things that I’ve been reading and listening to over the past 6 months or so. This has been contributed to by quite a few authors and speakers, but I would say mainly by Steve Wiens and Patricia Noel Drain, and I want to be sure to give them credit for that. Those 2 people have built so much into my life; Steve through his sermons and blog, Patricia by her teleseminars and personal challenges and living questions.
Here’s my summary of what I think maybe God is showing me. See if this resonates for you and maybe helps solidify something in you about your gifts and calling and your value in the world.
God has given each of us a unique set of experiences, talents, gifts, etc. No one else has our unique set. It’s like our fingerprint. Through this, He wants to touch the world through us. If we don’t use this “fingerprint” (for lack of a better word so far) that He’s given us, the world misses out, because there is no one else who will have that fingerprint.
What someone gets when they take a course from me or buy one of my books, paintings, etc, is ME. They get something that is a result of that unique combination of experiences, talents, etc, that God has put in me. What they get from you when you do whatever it is that God has put in you is YOU. (This is true of your job, your ministry, how you raise your kids, etc.) They get part of you. They benefit from the unique combination of experiences, talents, etc, that God has given you.
It’s our responsibility to get that out there because if we don’t, then the world will be lacking our unique contribution. No one else will be able to make up for that loss. That’s how valuable we each are as individuals!
But often, we don’t make this incredible, non replaceable contribution to the world because we don’t think we’re worthy.
You know who my all-time favorite Bible character is? King David. Wanna know why? Because the man was an adulterer and a murderer, but God still said that he was a man after God’s own heart. God used him, despite his major short-comings! There are others: Peter, who was always putting his foot in his mouth and who denied Jesus three times — yet God made him the leader of the new Church. Moses who was a murderer, had a horrible temper, and almost refused to let God use him (when God called him via the burning bush). And so many others.
There are also people in history who would never have been allowed to use their gifts by most churches or mission boards — one of my favorites is Aimee Semple McPherson. She was married 4 times (divorced twice, widowed once), was the topic of a couple national scandals … yet God used her to bring many to Him, to physically heal thousands, and to start an amazing denomination. Was this because she (or King David or Moses or Peter) was qualified on her own? NO! They were qualified through the Blood of the Lamb … through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. None of us is personally qualified to use our gifts or to have God work through our “fingerprint” in the world. But we are qualified through Him!
Please, please, please take hold of God’s qualification on your life. If you don’t know how, I would love to help you! Use your unique combination of experiences (including the horrific ones) and gifts that He’s given you. Give to the world what God wants to do through you. No one else has what you have to offer. The world will be a richer place because of you.