Own Up to It

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When we are so quick to dismiss our gifts and talents, we also dismiss the God who endowed us with them. Own up to your gifts and abilities.

My husband is proof that chivalry is alive and well. He is hardworking, kind, patient, loyal, compassionate, loving, and quick to forgive—though I find myself having to ask for his forgiveness all too often. And he, in a way no one else can, makes me feel like gold—as if I could conquer the world all on my own. You see, he discovered long ago that words of encouragement and affirmation fill up my “love tank,” as Dr. Gary Chapman would say, for quite some time.

Coming from him, those words boost me up and lift my spirits. But like Craig Groeschel discusses in an article from In Touch magazine, I personally struggle to take ownership of my talents, and I embrace my inadequacies quicker than my abilities. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to sound haughty, or I'm afraid that others will laugh to themselves as they think, “Her? Good at that? Ha!” Or maybe it’s simply that I don’t think I’m good enough at this or that to be labeled with its corresponding title. But as Groeschel points out, “It’s less about you than you think.”

I had to face this truth after a friend complimented something I’d written, telling me I was a good writer. The first words out of my mouth were, “Oh, thank you, but I’m really not a writer. I’m so young, and I have a lot to learn. Maybe I’ll be a real writer someday.” But my friend, ever thoughtful and slow to speak, responded with, “You know, when we are so quick to dismiss our gifts and talents, I think we also dismiss the God who endowed us with them. Just something to think about.”

Ouch. Was I really belittling my Father by undermining the things He’d enabled me to do in His name? By refusing to take ownership of a gift the Creator had given me, I was doing nothing less than doubting His ability to use me for—to endow me with abilities I could never have cultivated on my own. And as Groeschel states, “Yes—on our own, we are inadequate. But thanks be to God, in our weakness, His strength is made perfect.” Was I a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist? No. But had God given me the ability to write and glorify Him through it? Yes.

I grappled with this for some time—the tension between wanting to avoid pride yet still giving credit to God for His goodness. I wrestled with my humanity, my inadequacies, and my lack of self-confidence. But the next time someone referred to me as a writer, I caught my husband’s sideways glance—the smile that tells me he is proud of me—and I responded, “Thank you. And yes, I am a writer.” May we all say, as the apostle Paul does in 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” The gift of the Savior and the gifts He’s graciously given us all.

Written by Erin Chewning

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