Keeping Your Best (Homeward Bound, Pt. 2)

There is something you are best at in your life. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:6-8 all about the different spiritual gifts God gives His people. So whether it’s teaching, art, cooking, service, or whatever, there is something you are best at that correlates with your spiritual gift(s). Do you know what that is for you?

A while back I talked about cutting out the things that waste your time the most, but today’s post highlights the other big lesson I learned over in Santa Barbara — finding healthy, productive activities in your free time. Finding things that keep you doing your best.

At first glance, crushing time-wasters and finding productive stuff to do sound almost the same. However, they’ve very different. For instance, let’s say I’m very good at drawing and feel a calling to graphic design, but I have a problem with watching too much TV. So, let’s say I eventually decide to stop watching TV to focus more on drawing, but instead of sketching more, to hone in on my gift, I instead pick up the hobby of yo-yoing. It’s not exactly a waste of time, and I could even argue it keeps the creative juices flowing. But is it really the most productive thing I could be doing for my calling to graphic design? No.

What gives? It seems like once we find out what God’s best equipped us with, we put it off because, if we’re best at it, we feel we can do it anytime we want. We treat it like a talent, when we should be treating it like a skill. Skills must be practiced, over and over.

Think of it like a knife; you’ll need to sharpen it over and over until the day you die. Otherwise, your blade will become dull, and you won’t be able to fully live the life God desires for you.

One thing I love about my fiancé is her ability to cook. She is never afraid to experiment and try new things, and I think that’s what keeps her cooking so amazing. While she has some amazing recipes, it’s her cooking that makes them so utterly delectable. Not the recipes themselves. What if she never experimented with new foods? Her ability to cook would probably go down as she gets complacent with the same recipes, time after time. (Disclaimer: I’m just using an example — I’m not trying to say those who cook must scrap all their good recipes over time).

It’s the same reason why NBA players work out during the day instead of going shopping (although watching a few episodes of Cribs would reveal they probably get a lot of time in for that as well).

It’s the same reason why the best singers sing random tunes in a lot of their free time versus playing solitaire on a computer all day.

If you want something to keep in mind, Paul sums it up pretty well:

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Romans 12:11.

One key thing to remember is that whatever you are best at came from God. Therefore, that’s exactly where it should be pointing to. But it won’t if your gifts are all about you, or you neglect building them up.

Now that you’ve gotten the time-wasters out of the way, how can you be active in fine-tuning the things God has given you to do best?

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