I’m excited to be guest-speaking next week at a friend’s church on the topic of how we discern our giftedness and callings. So I’ve been digging through my research and it’s turning up so many gems that it’s hard to even know how to start! Today I wanted to link you up to some of my past posts on these topics in case you’re interested in a little refresher course:
- What is God’s Plan for My Life?
- Listening to God in Times of Choice
- Guidance & the Bible
- Spiritual Gifts & Calling Part 1
- Spiritual Gifts & Calling Part 2
- Spiritual Gifts & Calling Part 3
The process of recovering a sense of calling in our lives involves raising self-awareness (Who did God design me to be?) and listening (Hello God, where are you leading me?).
We can’t just start with finding something to do – we have to start with who we are because God designed us uniquely and has unique purposes for each of us. In Listening to God in Times of Choice, Gordon Smith quotes Ernest Larkin on discernment, “Basically the difficulty in all discernment is personal inauthencity. If you are not in touch with yourself, if you don’t know what is going on, you cannot hear the ‘other’ even when the other is God.”
Smith writes, “If we do not accept who we are, and more, actually like who we are, we will probably not be able to meet God freely and respond to that encounter. We will always be attempting to be someone other than who we are; we will be living a lie.”
Often, understanding who God created us to be means first accepting who he did not create us to be. It means letting go of our own expectations and parental or family expectations and maybe even community expectations. It means evaluating all our previous assumptions about our lives and work. It means double-checking how we define calling, spiritual gifts, success and failure.
The outcome of this kind of work should be a new sense of freedom, responsibility, humility and gratitude.
Tell me about times in your life where you’ve struggled with discernment. What was the process like for you?