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One day I was at a store looking for items to decorate my new house, because I was preparing for a party at night with my coworkers. I looked and looked, but no ideas came to my mind. I asked myself, What do people buy to make their houses look pretty and stylish? How do people imagine what colors match and what knick-knacks look good together? I don’t know. In my state of desperation I asked God, “Lord, please give me the gift of home decorating. I don’t have that one.”

I heard no answer, but I instantly thought of calling my sister who does have the gift of home decorating. She loves doing that with her house and everyone else’s. My sister answered the phone, which was a relief since I was almost in tears at that point, feeling sorry for myself and feeling the pressure that my house wasn’t going to look as good as I wanted it.

She immediately started giving me ideas of what items to buy, and in what colors, and how they would go together. She offered to come to my house to decorate before the party. I agreed with great relief in my heart.

My sister came the next day with a basket full of items—tablecloths, beautiful wreaths, silk flowers, and fall leaves that she placed gracefully in strategic places so the leaves would look their best. She set up the paper plates, cups, silverware, and fall-color bowls around my kitchen island. Everything looked beautiful. The party was a success. My guests really enjoyed my home and said how everything looked so pretty and inviting.

Meanwhile, I had a revelation about how God gives us gifts: He distributes His gifts (including the gift of home decorating) among all His people, so that we need each other and will work together. This idea made perfect sense. If He had given me all the gifts that everybody else has, I would not need anybody else, or Him for that matter. I would have it all in me. That is not God’s intention. God made me realize that I actually do have all the gifts. They are just not all inside of me. They are distributed among all people He puts in my path.

I learned several key points with this lesson: 1) I will probably not acquire the gift of home decorating, because He already gave me many other gifts; 2) God wants me to enjoy that particular gift through the talents of others; 3) I must be humble enough to recognize that I don’t have some gifts and ask for help when needed; 4) We all need to recognize the gifts within us, so we are ready to share them with others when needed. Those gifts are for us to enjoy and for us to share with those around us. Isn’t God’s masterful plan wonderful?

This interior design lesson is one of many small experiences I have had with the Lord in my daily routines that I cannot disregard. When my sister came to my house that day, she was in her talent territory, enjoying every moment of decorating my house. She even said she would enjoy doing this sort of work for a living, but she did it for me for free. In the end, we were both blessed. She enjoyed a break from her daily routine, and the entire experience was a great help to me.

When I shared this story in my women’s prayer group, people paid close attention and felt relieved to know they don’t have to have every skill either. Together we realized that the “perfect” woman of Proverbs 31 doesn’t exist in one person. Each of us is that perfect woman in God’s eyes when we share and utilize each other’s gifts and put them to use together.

To try to be like the woman in Proverbs 31 (read the entire chapter and you will see what I mean) can be intimidating, because she is perfect. Everything she does prospers. She has her household under control at all times. She is well-kept and in shape, works hard from morning to night, and her family is always well fed and clothed. Who can do all that these days? I doubt that women living during that time in the Bible did everything the Proverbs 31 woman did, either. God shows us how to enjoy and use all the gifts He gave us as women and as sisters in Christ.

The same lesson applies to men. God distributes all the attributes of being a perfect husband, worker, father, brother, and everything else among all men. Men have the same requirement to be humble and recognize their gifts and when they need help from others. They need to understand that it is okay to ask for help when needed.

Each person would benefit from taking an honest inventory of each gift and perhaps each area needing help, so that we can readily share our talents with others and understand what things we need help with. People are blessed to have the opportunity to help others. By asking others for help, we give them a sense of purpose as well. Every person enjoys a sense of feeling needed, which helps them know they are valuable.

We would find more satisfaction in the workplace if, in addition to sharing the gifts we have, we asked for help more often and surrounded ourselves with the people who possess the gifts we are lacking. God knows what He’s doing. He knows the types of people He put together to work together and share their gifts. It is our job to stop and recognize who those people are and how we can work together better with one another. This formula builds strong teams and organizations, which in turn creates successful companies.
I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Cor. 1:4 NLT) 

Source: The Fire Within by Marcia Malzahn
Excerpt permission granted by Malzahn Publishing, Inc.

Author Biography

Marcia Malzahn
Web site: Marcia Malzahn
Marcia is the author of her book Devotions for Working Women – A Daily Inspiration to Live a Successful and Balanced Life published in 2006. Marcia published her second book The Fire Within – Connect Your Gifts with Your Calling in October 2015. Marcia and her husband Tim live in Minnesota and have two children: Nicole and Patrick. Marcia enjoys spending time with her family, working out, singing, writing, and public speaking.

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