Too many people live in denial that God made them good at stuff. I lived that way for a long time as well. It might’ve seemed humble, but it wasn’t. I was really just afraid to say I was good at something. What if I failed? What if I wasn’t the best?
Denial was easier.
God made you on purpose. There’s a reason your mind picks up on math or art or language or business more naturally than others. Accept it. You’re good at stuff.
And it wasn’t meant for just you. When the nation of Israel needed a house of worship, Moses sent this decree:
“Let every skilled craftsmen come do what the LORD has commanded.”
Notice he didn’t call for an accountant. God used skilled craftsmen for His glory and the good of Israel.
For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers…
How can you step into the purposes of God in your generation?
Begin by believing that He actually made you good at stuff. What can you do well? What comes naturally for you that doesn’t come as naturally for others? What ignites your heart? There’s a reason for it.
I’m good at writing.
You have no idea how hard that sentence was to type. Out of fear of failing, I shoved the thought itself into a drawer for years. There it could stay hidden from the opinions of others. But God never intended for me to hide it.
Strengths have a purpose. Mine do. Yours do, too. Lean into them. Accept that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I’ve learned to do so, and it’s changed my life.
Here are four ways to grow your strengths:
Embrace Your Limits
There will always be somebody smarter and better and prettier. If your worth is tied to being the best, don’t be surprised when paralysis or despair sets in. There’s a helpful little book by Seth Godin called The Dip: When to Quit and When to Stick that helped me understand this principle in a practical way.
Make Space to Get Better
Paul told Timothy not to neglect the gifts he’d been given. Sharpen them, instead, for the glory of God and the good of others (1 Timothy 4:14-16). This gave permission for Timothy to make space in his life to learn. One way I do this is by reading books on writing (and well-written novels) on a regular basis.
Learn with Friends
Whatever God made you good at was not intended to be done alone. Friends encourage and challenge us. If the Lord hadn’t put Tim Grissom in my life, I would have given up on writing long ago. We need friends.
Small, consistent steps over long periods of time move us down the road quicker than we think. Read a book. Join a club. Take the class. Try your idea out. Just start. One day I realized, “You’re not going to wake up at 50 and know how to write. So, do something today that will help you down the road.”
God wired you a certain way for a reason. He has purposes for you in this generation. Run toward your gifts. And remember that, apart from Christ, you can do nothing.