1 Corinthians 14:1

1 Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth.

I recently attended a high school talent show. My daughter was in it, and I was eager to hear her sing in front of a live audience. Watching her, I knew she was in her element.

The neat thing was, so many of the other performers were too. Whether their acts were intended to entertain, inspire, mystify or move you, each of them were in their element, using their God-given talents to make a difference in the world.

The final performance was a teenage girl dancing with a friend to Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” a tired and worn-out song if ever there was one. Yet, what made this performance so exceptional, one worthy of the standing ovation it received, was that the girl who choreographed the dance was leading her friend in the movements. This friend has Down Syndrome. But in those moments on stage, she was free to embrace who she was and flaunt it for the world to see. The joy and excitement she felt shone on her face and was palpable to the audience.

How often do we find ourselves in the midst of our passion, abandoning ourselves to the joy of the gifts God has given us? No self-consciousness. No recrimination. Just living in the eye of God’s purpose for us?

I don’t know about you, but I hate to admit, it’s not as often as it could be or should be. I’m so busy living my life that I forget to spend time reveling in the gifts and talents God has given me, and using them to proclaim His truth and glorify His name.

Watching these kids share their various talents reminded me that I need to be more mindful about not just sharing mine, but enjoying mine.

How about you? What gifts or talents did God given you that are gathering dust on the shelf of your psyche?

God’s gifts aren’t intended to be received and then packed away for another day, put some place and long-forgotten. They’re intended to bring us joy, make us feel connected to Him, and through that to give us opportunities to share Him with others.

I know we’re all here because writing is one of the gifts we share. But if that were our only gift, we’d all be the same. We’re not. So, what makes you unique? What gift did God give you? And when will you make some time to spend with it, to enjoy it?

The gifts He’s given us don’t have to be front-and-center all the time. But the feeling they leave us with, feelings of fulfillment and contentment, carried into the world, set us apart from others in this hurried and discontented world, and give us opportunities to speak of His love for us.

About Tara

Tara R. Alemany is a best-selling author and speaker. Her books include "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books," "The Character-Based Leader," "My Love to You Always," "Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude," and her latest title "The Best is Yet to Come."

In her spare time, Tara is a recognized thought leader who runs Aleweb Social Marketing, does her best to raise her two teenagers, and serves on two Boards of Directors. She is also Chaplain of her local Word Weavers chapter, and is a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

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