“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2.
One of the greatest responsibilities of a parent is helping our children to spiritually grow and reach for a home run life. Helping them to discover and apply their spiritual gifts is often key to this long sometimes painful process. No matter how bumpy the road, it’s the parent’s duty to help our kids discover what is unique about each of them. It is up to the parents to ask questions like these. “What makes my child vital to the kingdom of God? What spiritual gifts lay dormant inside them that will bring glory to God? How do I activate these gifts?”
When we look at our kids, we can see unique personality traits, passions, and spiritual gifts that God has placed within them. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul points out that God has purposefully made each of us unique. He never intended for us to all be the same. Rather, His mission is fulfilled through very differently gifted people working together to accomplish the same purpose. The challenge is to use our unique abilities and talents to further His kingdom rather than fulfill society’s norms.
From the beginning of the Church until the present, Christians of every denomination have wrestled with a most fundamental problem: how to relate to the world and its culture. How do believers act in and interact with the society which surrounds them, and of which they are a part? Culture wants Christians to be more like everybody else.
For example, society will equate abilities and talents with making money. What we often forget is that our kids can use their gifts to make a huge impact on the world for God even if he or she never makes a penny from those gifts. To me abilities and skills development and use is not necessarily about how our kids make a living. But that is how society will look at it. Do your abilities and skills translate into a higher net worth.
Secondly, society will equate abilities and skills with being ambitious, competitive and getting ahead. We need to separate gifts and abilities from competition. While there is nothing inherently wrong with competition, there is a potential problem if they do not do well at something and thus think their gifts are not worthy to be used for God. As a pastor, I have heard people say that they can’t work in some area of ministry because they are not “talented enough”. Even though I reassure them they have plenty of talent to complete the task at hand, they differ because they never made money with their talent, they never won a prize or they know someone even more talented than they are.
Sometimes “better than average” talent is what God needs for something. He doesn’t always need Michelangelo, it may be that he just needs you or me or one of our kids. We should help our kids to not compare the level of their talents or abilities with others. All of our abilities, skills and gifts belong to God. They will be amazed with the ways God can use them over the years.
- What are some things you’re skilled or talented at doing? How did you discover that you were skilled or talented at those things? What are some of your skills or abilities that you never thought might be valuable for our church, but could be?
- Regardless of their own assessments of their talents, kids have the opportunity to put their abilities to work for God now, instead of waiting until they are older. Agree or disagree?
- How can we encourage our kids to examine their skills, talents, and abilities and consider how God could use them for a bigger purpose?