by Courtney Laib, StoryHope
The last two weekends my friend Andrea was able to come up and share her beautiful voice with us at our church’s weekend services. Andrea has the kind of voice you could listen to all day. The kind of voice that gives you goosebumps. The kind of voice that is unmistakably a gift from God. Ever more beautiful than Andrea’s voice is her heart, and she knows full well that she sings so beautifully only by the grace of God. As I walked around church with her in between services talking with people and introducing her to friends, many, many people came up to her to say, “Thank you for coming. Your voice is SO beautiful.” Compliment after compliment came from truly grateful people who I believe also just wanted to appreciate Andrea’s God-given gift.
After a while though (because I tend to be a bit of a critical thinker) I started to think about the difficulty that could arise for someone who is so often being complimented on their giftedness. Especially for people whose gifts land them on stages or on TV or movie screens in front of hundreds or thousands, or maybe even millions. My friend Andrea received all the compliments with such grace and humility but we began to talk about the struggle with pride and ego that can so easily arise when someone is so frequently being praised. It would be so easy to start thinking… “I AM pretty awesome.” and forget where the gift came from.
All of these ideas really sparked a conversation about identity in my head. How easy is it for us to place our identity in our gifts rather than the giver of those gifts? Especially for those who have “public gifts” of speaking, teaching, singing, or leading or even for those of us who consider ourselves writers… do we place our identity in how well we write or how many people think we’re awesome at writing?
I think there’s a question we have to ask ourselves…
If tomorrow all of our gifts were stripped away and all we had left was Jesus, would He be enough?
Would we be content in Him?
And if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and you don’t feel like you have any gifts at all or you feel that your gifts aren’t important… think about how that would make the giver feel. For those of us that have children, how sad would we be if we gave our child a great gift and then they turned around and said “I don’t really like this gift, can I have something else?”
Gifts are a beautiful thing but they were never meant to take the place of the giver.
Be confident of your gifts today but be more confident in the ONE who gave them.
Courtney is a mom, wife, friend, and Instagram addict. She lives in the Chicago area with her Pastor husband and three year old son. She is a fan of summer time, chai tea lattes, running, making new friends, traveling, and loving the ‘least of these’. She blogs at storyhope.com and you can usually find her talking about life, faith, and finding hope in brokenness.
THIS 31 DAYS SERIES IS A TAG-TEAM EFFORT BETWEEN LAUREN HERE AT MERCY INK AND COURTNEY LAIB. WE’RE DIGGING DEEP TO LOOK AT WHERE WE FIND OUR IDENTITIES, THE AREAS OF IDENTITY IN WHICH WE STRUGGLE, AND THE TRUTH OF WHO WE TRULY ARE. IT WILL BE RAW AND MESSY, AND WE PRAY THAT WE WILL EACH COME AWAY WITH A CLEARER SENSE OF WHO WE’VE BEEN MADE TO BE.