Whether we realize it or not, our Heavenly Father has given each and every one of us a collection of gifts in the form of skills and talents. The problem is that few people take the time to truly develop these talents to their full potential, much less share them with others. 

It is as if you were to celebrate a birthday and somebody gave you a gift that would bring joy not only to you but to your family, friends, acquaintances and even enemies. However, you did not unwrap the gift. You — and everyone you know — missed out. 

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. —Matthew 5:15, KJV

How do we find these hidden treasures and develop them to benefit those around us? The answer is simple, but it takes effort. Stop selling yourself short, find your strengths and don’t be afraid to use them. Your community, church, friends and family will all be willing recipients of your skills and you may be able to find ways to bring out the gifts of others.

Start by assessing your skills. Make a list of all your job skills, hobbies, vocations and volunteer work. You will be amazed at the knowledge and skills that you possess. Ask yourself if you use those skills often. If you are job hunting, look for a job that makes use of those skills. If you have a job, you may discover skills that are desperately needed by local non-profit organizations. This can give you a chance to improve your skills while serving the community. Our Heavenly Father always rewards our effort in some way. The key word here is “effort”.

You may also find your niche within your own church. No matter what religion you practice, there is a true need for your talents. No church can exist without a small army of volunteers. Normally, in order for most churches to run smoothly, each member must have a job of some sort. These positions differ in complexity but not in importance. Along with the job comes the learning experience necessary to do the Lord’s work. 

If you pray for guidance, God will provide you with the skills and education you need to do the job well. For each position, the means to learn that job skill will become very apparent to you. In this case, the jobs make the man (and woman). 

However, you may want to look even closer to home when sharing your gifts. Your family and friends need your talents as much as strangers do, if not more! Offer to help. Notice other people’s strengths and find ways to emphasize them. Between volunteering and church jobs, you may wonder how to find time for yourself and your family. 

If you are doing God’s work here on earth He will see to it that you have the time and energy to do so.  Think of it as “Celestial Time Management”. You will be amazed at how many “hidden hours” will suddenly appear in your day. Through careful scheduling you will find yourself able to work your temporal job, fulfill your church and volunteer obligations and have time for personal time as well as time with family and friends. 

However you choose to be generous with your talents, you will soon find that the satisfaction that you receive from sharing your gifts that God has given you will be far more valuable than any paycheck. Charity is the pure love of Christ and what better way to share that love than to help others?

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. —1 Corithians 13:13, KJV

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