I have a confession. I love my iPhone, my smart TV, my laptop, even my wife’s new car. That’s not my confession, though. Here it is … I admit I’m only using a fraction of the capability of each of these items has to offer. In some cases, I’m not even using their highest and best features – just the features I am comfortable or familiar with. Yes, I know how to make a call, send a text, download an app – but my phone can do so much more. My wife’s car can remind me of things and be programmed to do certain functions that I just don’t know how to do. Why? That would require me taking the time to actually read the owner’s manual or download a YouTube video to learn about the feature.
This past weekend I had the privilege of speaking about the sensitive topic of abuse to an audience of about 500 people. I spoke on how to get free from its debilitating effects. Public speaking exhilarates me. At the end of the weekend, I found myself thinking, “I really should be out speaking and presenting more often.” Not everyone is wired or gifted to be a good public speaker. But instead of actively pursuing these opportunities, I find myself focusing on the areas where I am more familiar, more comfortable. I’m just like these devices I mentioned above. I’m using my gifts, my talents – but not all of them. I’m settling for what’s familiar and comfortable rather than stretching to pursue the highest and best use of my God-given abilities.
How about you? What unique abilities, inclinations, and talents do you have that you’re not using to its maximum? What things are natural to you or what skills, if exercised, stretched, and trained, could become exceptional gifts that would bring blessing to tens, hundreds, thousands of others?
As you head into the end of the year, take time to reflect, consider, and prioritize where you spend your time. Sometimes the thing that is your most significant gifting or that would bring you the greatest joy won’t be actualized or released without you making the conscious effort to develop it. Don’t let your highest and best gifts go unused, underused, or under-developed. The world is waiting. The world needs what you have to offer.
What you are called to do is also likely to bring you the greatest joy.