Recognizing God-Given Gifts and Utilizing Them for His Glory
Written by Katelyn Bailey
How do we know what God has gifted us to do? Once we know what our gifts are, how do we use them to glorify Him? In this blog we will look at how God has answered these questions in my life, to give you an example and a starting point to look at in your own life.
My name is Katelyn and I am an intern with Children’s Bible Ministries. When I was twelve, I became a mother’s helper. That meant I took care of and played with the children in the basement while their mom was upstairs cleaning, doing laundry, whatever she needed to do without her boys underfoot. At thirteen, I began babysitting while the parents were out. It quickly became obvious that I was very good with children. Even ones who did not warm up to others would be playing with me and wanting me to hold them. I immensely enjoyed being with children and playing make believe with them, reading and making up stories, and spending time with them. In middle school, my small group leader began teaching the kindergarten class at church and had us teach with her. One Sunday,a dad came up to me and told me that I was very good with the children. As the years went on, I continued babysitting and teaching at church, gaining skills with children.
When I was ten, I went to sleepaway camp for the first time. It was the best summer of my life as I got to ride horses, learn about God, sing silly songs, play games, and meet new people. I loved it and went back for more as long as I could. I love camp. It is where I felt the Holy Spirit for the first time and had some of my best experiences.
When it came time to decide what to go to college for, my mom and I talked about what I was good at and what I liked to do. It was obvious to both of us that a job with children would be the best choice, as it was where God had gifted me and it was what I loved to do, due to what I had been doing for the past seven years. We talked about all the jobs that have adults working with children and I knew that I did not want to be a teacher in a classroom. It was then I remembered how much I LOVED summer camp and what we did there! I decided to go to a Christian college and get a degree in camping ministry because I wanted to help children have as wonderful of memories and experiences as I did, while being able to teach them about God.
When God gifts you with an ability, it will not be hard to see it. It will be something you are good at and enjoy. You might not realize you are good at it, because you are used to having those abilities. Listen to the compliments of others and ask someone you trust to tell you what they have observed about you, think about what you like to do and, most importantly, pray to God. He has a plan for your life and will make it clear to you what He wants you to do.
Now, just because you are good at something does not mean you should only ever limit yourself to that gifting only. It is important to try new things. You never know what you could be good at, if you do not try new things! Case in point: I am now a thirty-one-year-old woman who is still fantastic with children but, since Covid-19 happened, I have been stuck on the CBM National campus without being able to interact with children. Jacquelyn, the Intern Coordinator, had the great idea of making a website for the children stuck at home and had several ideas about the content. One idea that I knew I would be good at was making songs for Bible verses, since I also enjoy singing. The other one was something I had never tried nor even thought of trying. It was making radio dramas.
She wanted to write scripts for Bible stories and have different voices and sound effects, just like the radio dramas of old! I had grown up listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family’s Chronicles of Narnia and was so excited to try my hand at making them. It turns out that I am excellent at editing them! Who knew? God did but, if I had not been willing to try something new, I never would have found out about this ability, nor be able to use it for God’s glory.
It is a process. Be faithful in the small things so God can use you in the big things. This summer I am going to be the program director of the girls’ side of Camp Gilead. I did not start there. I started by getting saved at 3, becoming a mother’s helper, babysitter, helping teach Sunday School, then teaching it myself, four years of college, working at camps for ten years and THEN being program director. God gave me a gift and worked on building it up to reach this moment. And when this summer is over, God will have built it up even more for the next step of His plan in my life to give Him the glory.
Sometimes you will have skills and abilities that make you wonder: How can God use these? As a Christian, the ultimate purpose for us on earth is to glorify God and share the gospel with unbelievers. God gave us abilities and gifts so that we could use them for His purposes and to glorify Him. Sometimes those gifts seem small or unusable for God’s glory but that is not true! When my mom was eighteen and at college, she observed a group of students enjoying themselves while working on washing cars. She wondered how they could be happy doing such a thing. It turns out that they were Christians. She says their joyful spirit while washing someone else’s car was what led her to becoming a Christian. Her faithful life as a believer made me want what she had, when I was three years old. God will use you if you let Him.
My dear friends, God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Colossians 3:17 sums up nicely what I am trying to say: “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.” Live honoring God with everything you do and He will direct your steps into using your gifts for His purpose and glory.
Katelyn is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click HERE [www.childrensbibleministries.net/internships].