A few days ago, I felt to get out a book that Sara had written for a Daily Lily annual retreat that I and others that participate on this website attended in 2008. The Work book is titled, “The Four Bees of Giftings – Finding Your Spiritual Gifts”. The reason for re-studying this was prompted by a gift that I received for Christmas from Tammy M, “Next Level Thinking” by Joel Osteen. As I read Joel’s latest book, it jogged my memory about many similar things I had studied in Sara’s book. So, I began to study both books concurrently and found many parallels, some of which I would like to share related to our gifts.
Both authors agree that we need to be finding and using our unique gifts. And both emphasize that in order to do this we must not compare ourselves with someone else. Joel states, “Be who God created you to be. You are an original. You have something to offer the world that nobody else has. Let your gifts shine.” Sara writes, “You are unique, there is not another you. Your gifts live and die with you. If you don’t develop them, they will not be used.”
Joel contends that in order to accomplish this, we must leave behind negative mind sets and move up into “next-level thinking”; Sara puts it this way, “You can accomplish much more than you think if you reframe your thinking.”
The authors said that one of the biggest hindrances to being ourselves, happy with who we are and with our gifts is jealousy. Sara warns us: “There should be no jealousy of one another’s gifts because that would be a block to your own. If you see someone else writing a book you wanted to write, got published before you got to be published, encourage them, exhort them…because you are watering your own gift to come forth when you recognize and exhort and encourage another. When you feel happy, joyful about another’s gifts your gift will shine.” Joel admonishes us saying, “Don’t get distracted trying to keep up with someone whom you were never supposed to keep up with. When you understand you are fully loaded for the race that’s been designed for you, instead of competing with people, you’ll celebrate them. The right attitude is: They may have something that I don’t, but that’s ok. I’m not running their race. I’m equipped for my destiny.” And he uses the biblical illustration of Saul’s jealousy toward David and says Saul, “didn’t realize they weren’t in the same race. He wasn’t competing with David. If Saul had been happy for David, he wouldn’t have missed his destiny.”
These examples were a couple of highlights that I hope will encourage you as they have me. I found thinking on and comparing the same biblical truths written in two different styles/ways by two different authors to be very helpful.