Big-picture gifts

By Jessica Brodie

We all have unique God-given abilities that help shine His light in the world. Mine is writing. Others have a gift of teaching or science or a spectacular ability with numbers.

Our gifts shape our careers, and they help the world around us. They help our churches, our families and our world in general.

But sometimes we become too focused on the “what we do” aspect of our gifts and forget that within those gifts is an amazing and very simple big-picture ability—I’m talking Kingdom of Heaven scale, not just earthly scale. Think back to when the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians was talking to the early Christians about harnessing their gifts; he mentioned not job-oriented gifts but things like being an encourager (like Peter) or being wise or faithful, like being able to heal or prophesy or interpret tongues.

In our walk as believers, it’s important to take a giant trampoline jump upward and look down at our lives—as though we are mimicking God’s eye view—and ask yourself this question: within your worldly gift, what is your big-picture gift? Are you a healer, an encourager, a prophet, a healer? Are you filled with knowledge or the ability to tell spirits apart or interpret tongues? And how can knowing this big-picture gift enhance your worldly gift?

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my big-picture gift is being an encourager. It is what drives all that I do. I want to encourage people to take heart, to have faith, to be inspired, to see the beauty in the world and God’s creation, to help them understand certain life lessons that can make their day-to-day lives go better. I want people to understand and be uplifted. And so in every single thing that I do, whether it’s writing or just being a friend to someone, encouragement is at the root.

I’ve also come to realize the more I focus on encouragement, my worldly/daily gift is stronger and far more meaningful. My writing is better for it.

So in the spirit of a true encourager, today I encourage you to take some time alone and really think about what big-picture gift God has put on your heart. And fuse that with whatever it is you are doing for the world.

The combination is a mighty way we can love God and serve Him—both now and eternally.