In my last post, I reflected on the gift of our time in the vocation of motherhood. We know that there are countless ways to give of oneself day by day; but what helps us grow as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends is to spend quality time thinking and praying about specific ways that we can offer even deeper generosity in our vocation.
Thankfully, the Church shares guidelines along which we can strive to grow in generosity. Especially during the season of Lent, we are asked to give of our time, talent and treasure. But in reality, we are called to give in these ways always, and if we are not working on giving of ourselves, then most likely we are not reaching for our full potential to grow in sanctity.
Giving of my talents can be a confusing concept. Often, I confuse sharing my talents with being prideful or vain. For instance, I did not always want to write and open up my thoughts for ridicule. Was this humility on my part, or vanity disguised as humility?
Perhaps I was nervous about what other people might think, as I have always been hesitant to stand out or be a leader of any sort. As a child, I watched others take the lead, content to stay protected in the shadows. But as we mature, we must come face to face with the parable of the talents and ask ourselves what exactly has Christ given us for which He will ask an account?
Often it takes real self-reflection and prayer to uncover some of our deeper desires and talents. For isn’t it prideful to think that we are good at anything? Why yes, perhaps it is, unless we understand and accept the words of Scripture: “What have you that you have not received, and if you have received, then why do you act as if you had not?”
These are humbling words indeed, for we again come to face our utter dependency on God. When we acknowledge and accept our life and our talents as a complete gift from a loving Father, then we can move forward in coming to understand how He desires that we share these gifts with the world.
Questions I Ask Myself
One way I try to do this is to ask myself a few specific questions regarding how I am currently working at utilizing my talents. For example, do I make an effort to determine what things bring me the most joy in life, which activities are useful and inspiring to others, and give glory to God?
If I am good at music, do I play not just for myself, but for the benefit of others? If I draw, dance, or play sports, do I compete to the best of my ability, but with humility and good will? If I am scholarly and enjoy reading and study, do I seek wisdom that is well-formed by sound reasoning, and do I share the fruits of my study with others?
Perhaps as a mother I can make a concerted effort to have more meaningful conversations with other mothers, and can share any inspirations I may be given with those around me. Whether it is a phone call with a friend, or a conversation with a parent or sibling, I can use that time to uplift another.
Rather than spending my time gossiping or complaining, I can work on a positive way of communicating and sharing. God gives us His grace not only for ourselves, but to benefit the community of persons we share our lives with.
Do I talk to others—my spouse, children, friends—about the inspirations I receive in prayer or reading? Do I truly believe that what God is telling me is important to my spiritual wellness, and feel inspired to share this good news with others? Isn’t this the meaning behind evangelization, namely, to share with others the hope that is in us? (1 Peter 3:15)
Share the Good
If I begin each day committed to sharing the love of Christ present in my life, then I become a witness to the glory of God. This, I believe, is my greatest talent—to share the good things with which God has blessed me. I do not offer my ideas out of an attitude of superiority or holiness, but with great humility and love. When I am having a good day, I should make an effort to share my energy and enthusiasm with others.
The grace which God is giving me on a particular day may be a benefit to someone else who is having a difficult day. I know that I hope others will do the same for me, in order to call me out of my own struggles and daily trials to a greater hope and joy.
So, do we work at enhancing the skills which we are good at, and developing abilities which we enjoy or come easily to us?
Second, do we ask questions and seek good conversation with others—thereby being a means of joy and evangelization in their lives? Committing time and energy to using our talents well is not always easy.
Growth in virtue always requires a self-gift from us; but it is in this gift that we discover our true talents and our happiness.
Hands Holding Heart © takasu / Dollar Photo Club