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What Matters to Me

A few years ago I got the amazing opportunity to hear a lesson on what is referred to as “a holy discontent.” Right away I was intrigued because I’d heard speakers address spiritual gifts before. I’d taken tests, prayed, and journaled to find my own gifts, but this was something different. What the speaker was offering was a way to discover applications for our gifts. In other words, now that you know what they are, here’s what you can do with them. I was immediately drawn in because I’d already tried to volunteer in so many different places. I wanted to use my gifts, but I wasn’t passionate about the tasks I was involved with.

This happens a lot. People with honest intentions wind up working in fields they aren’t passionate about, and they either burn themselves out, come to resent the work, or both. He noted that God gives us all unique gifts, and he gives us all unique passions as well. After all, if we all used our gifts for the same thing, there are many other causes that would suffer.

As an adult I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve felt it. As a parent, I want my kids to grow up knowing what their gifts and their passions are so that they can spiritually thrive. Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I’ve taken what I’ve learned from the "holy discontent" lesson and created a list of three things my kids can do now, and every so often to ensure they are pursuing their God-given passions.

  1. Think about what makes you discontent. What breaks your heart? Chances are, it also breaks God’s heart. For me, I get really upset about the marginalized communities, and my oldest son is incredibly passionate about animals. Finding what makes you discontent will teach you a lot.
  2. Pray that God will affirm your passion. Oftentimes God puts opportunities all around us. He created us, and he knows where we’d be the most effective and fulfilled. Of course, this also take discernment because there will be distractions as well, opportunities that are great, but not your best fit. Remain prayerful and remind yourself often about the things that God has put on your heart.
  3. Jump in. Get your feet wet. Sometimes we have to try something on before we realize that it either fits or does not fit. Knowing I have a love for the marginalized community, I have volunteered with the homeless, in prisons, and with refugees. Though all of them were awesome, I feel the most fulfilled when I’m working with refugees. More often than not you can find opportunities to volunteer for one day, or even one hour just to try it out before you commit to something bigger.

These three step can be repeated often, especially as my kids grow and change. I’m excited to see what they wind up doing, and I’m grateful that God has given each of them unique passions to pursue.

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