By Robert J. Tamasy
When people learn I am a writer, they often say, “Oh, I could never do that. Writing is so difficult for me to do.” This makes me chuckle, because I feel the same way about practically any other line of work. I admire people with mechanical skills, such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians or all-purpose handymen (or women). I cannot imagine how CPAs and bookkeepers do the work they do. Individuals who excel at public speaking amaze me, and gifted leaders who can inspire and mobilize those that report to them have my great respect.
We are all different, drawing from a unique “toolbox” of gifts, skills and experiences. That is one reason we need each other – working together, we complement one another’s abilities. Have you ever considered, however, where our innate talents, skills and preferences come from?
I began writing early in my life. Although I did not regard it as a career possibility until about two years into college, it has always been an enjoyable part of my life, something about which I grew more and more passionate. The interesting thing is, I never decided one day, “I think I am going to pursue writing, rather than becoming a mechanic, or a doctor, lawyer or scientist.” It was like writing was “hard-wired” into my being, an integral part of who I was – and am today.
My conclusion about where we get our innate abilities is simple: God bestows them to us as He sees fit. Some people are natural salespeople; others have special management strengths, while others are uniquely equipped to become engineers, teachers, nurses or architects.
Psalm 139:14 says of God, “For you created my inmost being…. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I believe that includes the talents and specific gifts that sometimes manifest themselves in early childhood, like a musical prodigy or a mathematical genius who can solve complex equations long before many young peers even know how to read.
But this special equipping of the Lord does not stop at the womb. It continues throughout our lives when we are sensitive to His leading and obedient to His call. Consider:
Using our gifts fulfills God’s will. How we use our unique talents and abilities is not just for our benefit, but also fulfill God’s will for our lives – as well as His perfect, eternal intentions. “Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Our skills are part of God’s plan. Our distinctive vocational capabilities were bestowed within the context of God’s greater purpose, enabling us to serve Him and others most effectively. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
Our skills should be used according to God’s Word. The work we do, and the abilities we employ, are best utilized within the context of the truths and principles God provides in the Bible. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
© 2018. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and edited other books, including Advancing Through Adversity by Mike Landry. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
1. When did you decide to pursue the kind of work you are currently doing? How did that come about? Do you consider it in line with the capabilities with which God has equipped you?
2. If you could choose any line of work, would you continue doing what you are doing at this moment? Why or why not?
3. What would you say are the unique gifts, talents and abilities that you possess? Would you agree they were God-given, even if you have put forth the effort to develop and refine those skills? Explain your answer.
4. If we can agree that the distinctive traits and skills we have did originally come from God, what difference should that make in how we pursue our work?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 14:23, 21:5; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Romans 12:11; Colossians 3:17,23