Now, I like to cook. I’m no chef, but I do pretty well. Cooking even helps me think at times. I don’t cook as often as I should, but I do. Sometimes, I get fancy and pull a recipe from a cookbook or online, and add my own flare to it. My dad taught me, and my mom keeps sliding her recipes my way so that she can sit back while I whip them up.
Here’s the thing, I don’t bake. Well, I do, but from a box where you add an egg, some water, and ⅓ cup of oil. Uh-huh, the box is my friend! I can make you a cake, cookies, or whatever else Betty Crocker puts on the grocery store shelves, but I didn’t get the baking gene from my mom, grandmother, or great aunt. I have tried sifting flour and separating the wet and dry ingredients, but nothing has helped. Baking just isn’t my thing.
For a while, I felt bad because I thought it was something that should come naturally, especially during the holidays when the mixers and aprons come out. At Thanksgiving, I wanted to make my mom’s pound cake and at Christmas, I wanted so badly to make that cute assortment of cookies you see in magazines and on the Food Network.
Eventually, I got over it when it clicked that it just wasn’t for me to do. Like I said before, you get the “box” if you want a cake from me.
Your Gifts and Talents Were Tailored Made for You
By now, you know I’m not just sharing or asking advice on my baking skills (or lack of), but I have a point. Just like baking is not my thing, there are some gifts and talents that others have that you will not. Oftentimes, especially in the church, we are expected to do the same things that others do – usher, sing, preach – but the truth is, God did not design us all the same way.
There are many people who serve God that will never do any of those things, and they are just as called as those who do. As I said, I used to feel awkward about the fact that I couldn’t quite get the family pound cake just right. I had to learn that my strengths are somewhere else and it is a privilege to know what I am actually capable of doing.
Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid the pressure though, that we should all be singers or preachers, especially when there’s a chance that you may not get the same recognition as someone else who does.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Trust me, I know it’s easy to get discouraged because of what we can or cannot do, but be comforted in knowing that what God placed within us will impact the world in ways that another cannot. Here are a few things to remember when your gifts and talents in a certain area don’t meet the mark:
- Your gift is necessary. What God has placed within you to do cannot be done by anyone else. And, just because there are other “chefs” in the kitchen, it does not mean your dish is not needed. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:4
- Your gift is enough. It’s easy to believe that we lack something when we feel that someone else has what we do not. That is not necessarily the case because God did not create us with lack. In fact, He created us “wonderfully”. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalms 139:14
- You were chosen to carry your gift. God was intentional about what He chose you to do. He never had any doubts or questions about what you would be good at, and He is constantly perfecting the gift that He chose us to carry. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10
- Your gift is a masterpiece. Yes, it is, and without anything extra that you could think to add. The gift that God placed in you is specific to you. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Before you go taking on anything else to prove your talents and abilities, focus on what God designed you to do. If He only allowed you to be a baker, then He needs you to utilize your time and efforts perfecting that craft. God made no mistakes when He decided who would do what before the foundation of the world.