God wants you to be yourself, but not as you can make you. But to be the “you” He created you to be. Part of what He implanted in you was certain gifts, talents, and abilities. To the extent that you allow the Holy Spirit to (1) reveal these gifts to you, and (2) turn these gifts into strengths, you will find more joy in being “you” as your “you” builds up the Body of Christ.
Just before listing some of the innumerable spiritual gifts God reveals in humanity, the apostle Paul says this:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)
Does that sound contradictory at all: Do not think…but rather think?
The root word is the same in each usage (phroneo in the Greek), but the prefix is what sets them apart from each other.
- The first has the prefix hyper-. That means it’s overly analyzed, overly concerned = self-focused.
- The second time the prefix is soph- (meaning “wise”). This is sound thinking, big-picture thinking = others-focused.
The Holy Spirit gives you sophroneo thinking to reveal your God-implanted gifts and talents to benefit others—to benefit the whole Body of Christ. He helps us turn our talents into strengths by using a formula like this:
Passions + Talents + Your Obedience = Strength for the Body
Pay attention to your passionate responses to situations, as they will reveal to you some of your gifts.
Listen to areas where others say you are talented. This will help you know how God has wired you.
Then you must be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in how to use your talents. If you let them sit on the shelf, they will never become strengths. Strengths develop when you passionately and obediently use your God-given talents for God’s glory.
The Holy Spirit wants to help you in all of these areas. Will you let Him?
If you’ve missed any of the messages in the Immersed series, you can find them all here.