When You Don't Recognize Your Gifts

photo by erol ahmed on unsplash

photo by erol ahmed on unsplash

*This devotion was originally published @joyfullifemagazine.

I stood at the baggage claim in the Sacramento airport, praying that my duffle would magically materialize. After flying all night, I was exhausted. I still had a two-hour drive ahead of me, and I wanted nothing more than to collect my luggage and get on with my journey.

Finally, after watching the carousel rumble by for the 100th time, I accepted that my bag had not arrived. 

I hauled myself to a nearby help desk. The woman there listened attentively as I explained my problem, then said, “Let’s go take a look.”

I wasn’t sure what she expected to find; I was certain my bag was not on the conveyor belt. Surely our time would be better spent searching other places, perhaps talking to the baggage handlers? Nevertheless, I followed her back to the carousel like a perplexed but obediant dog.

When a black bag with red wheels passed, the woman snatched it off the track and checked the tag. “Is this yours?” she asked.

A quick glance at the label revealed, to my surprise, that it was! Somehow, in my sleep-deprived stupor, I had failed to recognize my bag. Feeling pretty silly, I thanked the woman and was on my way.

Sometimes, we don’t recognize what belongs to us until someone else points it out. This can be true not only for our luggage, but for our spiritual gifts and strengths. 

In his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul urges, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you” (1 Timothy 4:14 NLT).

Timothy received his gift, in part, by the prophecy spoken over him. The elders in his church saw something in him that he may not have seen in himself.  And when they pointed it out, he was able to receive it and learn to walk in it.

Are there gifts others have seen in you that you didn’t recognized in yourself? Prayerfully consider any words spoken over you by people of faith whom you trust, such as pastors, parents, mentors, and friends. When you find a word that rings true, take hold of it. Don’t leave it unclaimed on the baggage carousel.

Just like I needed my luggage to continue on to my final destination, we need everything God has implanted in us to do all He has planned for us!

With love,

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I want to hear from you!

What have others pointed out about you that perhaps you either weren’t aware of or hadn’t taken seriously? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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