Note 004: Why Do We Have Gifts?

 

The simple answer is: to build community

That’s right, God gives us each different gifts so that we have to come together and rely upon each other in communities and marketplaces.  Each of us is created to meet a particular need that exists around us.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  (1 Peter 4:10)

Your gift is your differentiator in a crowded space

It is the thing that you are predisposed to do better than anyone else.  It is the thing you can contribute to others in the Kingdom.  Everything else is somebody else’s gift.  One of my favorite thinkers on this topic is Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who draws our attention to the fact that you never see Jews mowing their own yards or cutting their own hair.  Why?  Because, according to Rabbi Lapin, they understand the concept of every person focusing on only his or her gifts and letting otherwise-gifted people provide their services to you – like landscapers and beauticians. 

By hiring the right professional, who probably can do the job faster and better anyway, you can save that time and energy to focus on maximizing your own gifts.  With the money that you make by blessing others with your own gifts, you can hire people to bless you with their gifts – and the cycle of commerce continues.  Are you doing your own taxes – or, even worse, doing your business taxes yourself?

YOUR BUSINESS ALSO NEEDS TO FOCUS ON ITS UNIQUE GIFTS.

 It's time to bring your gifts to the table!

It's time to bring your gifts to the table!

Another example of focusing on one’s gift is clearly seen in the corporate arena.  Companies do best when they do only what they are best at – and leave the rest to other firms.  In this respect, you can think of a firm’s gifts as their competitive advantage or core competency.  Even when companies vertically integrate (by buying or merging with their supplier below them, or their buyer above them, they keep those groups completely separate within the firm; therefore, each division can focus on the thing that it does best. 

Companies spend a lot of time figuring out not just what they do best but also measuring how well they are communicating those strengths in the marketplace, which I call branding around your gifts.  The faster a company can figure out what its advantage (gift) is, articulate that clearly in the marketplace, and get to it, the more successful the company can be.  This applies to our businesses as well.  The faster we figure out our gifts in business and just focus on those, the more successful and fulfilled we become, and the faster our businesses can grow.  Then we can align ourselves with providers of everything else we need.

MAXIMIZING YOUR GIFTS IS GOOD STEWARDSHIP

On some level, God expects us to do this – for ourselves and for Him.  It’s best for you because your gifts give you the roadmap of how to focus your business, and the rubric to measure all opportunities against.  Using your gifts also makes you more efficient and productive in business.  The question then becomes: Does this idea/opportunity/choice use and advance my gifts, or not?  Being able to answer that question makes a lot of decisions much easier.

It’s good for God because it is good for the Kingdom.  We all know that God blesses people through people.  In that regard, we are His force-multipliers on earth.  If you use the gifts He’s given you to bless tons of people with a service or product only you can provide, and I do the same thing, that’s potentially thousands or millions of people helped.

WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK?

If you cannot find your gifts – or, are simply afraid to take action with your gifts, get help!  After I got help figuring out what was keeping me from identifying and using my gifts – which is an ongoing process, I more than quintupled my gross income – that’s 5x!  All because I took steps to get help.

If you think you’ve identified your gifts, but are afraid to take bold action on them, get help!  Fear is a nasty robber and it will strip you of everything God has promised you.  I’ve been there.  It sucks!  And, I have decided that I won’t sacrifice another year to it.  But, I now have the tools to deal with it when it comes up (…because it always does!) and you can, too.

If anything in this post is news to you, or you want further explanation or clarity, please check out my free email course, called God-Given Gifts 101.