Have you ever felt talentless?
When people speak about their calling in life, do you wonder if God skipped you because you never heard that call?
Dear friend, I hope my words can encourage you that you do have skills—skills you might have overlooked!—and that even though you are young, you have something of value to contribute to the world.
God gave you gifts
Throughout your life, you have been learning. Your parents taught you how to take care of yourself, your teacher taught you how to read, and other adults taught you unusual things, like how to play frisbee golf. Maybe you have gone on field trips, baked pies from scratch, or learned another language.
Or maybe you had a difficult childhood but persevered and now have a powerful story you can use to give hope to those in similar situations and remind them they are not alone.
You have a unique life experience, whoever you are, and there are no self-made people. James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from above (paraphrase). God placed individuals in your life to equip you with skills for building His kingdom.
But it can be hard to recognize what our special skills are because we have had them our whole lives. To identify them, these questions might help:
- Who influences me?
- What have they taught me?
- What do I love?
Even the silliest gift counts
When I was six years old, I learned how to knit. Knitting is a strange hobby for most young people and I have been called “the grandma friend”* before.
Do you have creative gifts that you think are weird or useless? Read Exodus 35, focusing on verses 30-35. God gave Bezalel and Oholiab artistic skills to build and adorn His Tabernacle. Clearly, God values artistic skills.
One of my favorite organizations is Project Linus, which provides handmade blankets to ill or traumatized children. I think it is a wonderful thing that God put people in my life who taught me how to knit because now I can take that gift and extend it to others.
*”Grandma friend” as opposed to “mom friend” which is a friend who is the overprotective and responsible one in the group.
Pay it forward
Paying it forward means to respond to someone’s kindness by passing it on to someone else. A Bible verse example is 1 Peter 4:10: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV)
There are two ways to pay it forward.
#1. Being a teacher
Kids look up to you. I know, it feels weird sometimes. But this is a perfect example of how we can pay it forward. You can become a tutor and help kids with school. Or you could be a casual role model and teach them games.
#2. Being a student
But since we are still young, we are still students. This is ok!
There are certain things, like being a doctor, where you need proper training to help others. So in that case it is wise to wait and be faithful with your pre-med or med school courses.
You may come across situations or jobs that are still out of your league. Recognize those and be sure to humbly pray for the right people to address these issues. In the meantime, use your youth to keep learning and growing. Opportunities will start coming your way in high school and college. For now, stay faithful.
Remember that you are giving your teachers their opportunity to pay it forward by teaching you. Do your best to learn from them so you can pass on their knowledge and wisdom to the next generation someday.
Love wins over talent
If you have been reading this far and still feel discouraged by your youth or lack of experience, remember this.
You do not need to be the best at something or naturally talented to touch someone’s heart. Some of the most precious drawings I have seen were made by first graders with crayons.
It is the love that goes into things that impacts people. Project Linus’s website says, “Purchased blankets are nice, but new handmade blankets are from the heart.”
Do things from the heart. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (NIV)
You might not be the best pianist, baseball player, or animator but you can still bless others with your gifts. Keep practicing your skills so you will improve and do not let yourself be discouraged by comparing yourself to others.
You can be a blessing
Yes, you do have something to give. There are skills you have learned from people God has placed in your life that you can use to bless and serve others. Never let anyone discredit the gifts you do have, whether they are video editing, drawing, or math. You have gifts to use and to continue developing for the kingdom of God.
What do you think? What are some of your gifts and how can you share them today?