October 09, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Know Your Strength

As a young artist, I was trying to find my artistic voice.  I tried on styles, colors, and media like clothing.  As I learned about artists & movements, I implemented them into my work to see if they were me.  I attempted different themes & motifs to see if they "sounded" like my voice or not.  I saw what others were doing, and attempted to emulate their success in my work.  This is part of the growing process ( I feel!).  However, there comes a time as an artist where you have to stand up for who you are, do what you feel is right, and speak out with your own voice.  That boldness does not always come easily, and can come and go depending on how secure/insecure you are feeling.  As I began truly developing my artistic voice...my security was shaken a couple times by professors that question the validity of what I had to say as an artist.  I would approach my next project with their skepticism looming over me.  It would cause me to make choices that were not true to who I knew I was.  However, I'd eventually shake that off, and move forward with my work being true to me and the strength I had in vision, purpose, and skill.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  
Romans 12:6-9

We all have different gifts, talents, and skills.  As we grow in our faith, there are times we have to try out different things to see if they are truly us or not.  I've known many people that thought they were teachers.....UNTIL THEY TAUGHT!  ha ha  That doesn't mean they failed at being a teacher.  It just means they need to find that place that best suits their God given gifts and talents.  Sometimes we need those experiences in order to find where we truly need to be.   God did not give you the natural ability to connect with people & make them feel at ease...just to stick you in a tiny room somewhere with a computer.  God didn't give you a servant's heart that likes to stay out of the spot light...just to shove you on a stage!  God wants you to use those gifts & talents for his glory & honor...to know him & make him known!  When we operate in those God given situations as we were designed to do...I feel we experience a joy like no other & are the most effective for the kingdom.  People may come and tell you what they think you should be....or you may see others who seem to have it all together so you try to be like them....but the truth is...YOU NEED TO BE YOU!  You need to know the strengths God has given you....and do that...be that!!!  Now, that doesn't mean the outgoing/up front type person shouldn't clean up or do things behind the scenes....or that the servant's heart behind the scenes person doesn't need to step to the forefront at times....it just means the majority of our time we should operate in the strengths God has given us.  

Dear Lord, 
Let me know the strengths you have given me.
Let me find joy in doing those things.
Allow me to encourage others as they 
seek to do those things you have given them.
In Your Name, AMEN