Purpose of Life: Don’t Abandon Your Gift

Uniquely Created

Being unique means you are one of a kind. You were not made from a mold but fashioned together very carefully. No other being exists like you. There may be someone who is similar to you that may have the same hair color, the same car or listen to the same type of music. But they are not made exactly like you in every way.

That was not done by accident. You were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” To be fearfully made means you were made greatly with much intensity and thought. The first step in learning who you are is to understand how you were made. You are born of His spirit and wonderfully made.

For A Purpose

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” Ephesians 1:11 NKJV

Not only are you unique but also you are chosen for a specific purpose that works in accordance with God’s overall plan. Initially you may not know how you fit into the overall plan, which causes you to fumble around in darkness. But as you grow spiritually, you will begin to understand that you have a purpose to fulfill.

You may  have discovered that you are a good writer and begin writing a book about your spiritual journey. You may have discovered you can write and compose songs and begin working on inspirational songs. You may have discovered that you are able to understand and teach God’s word to anyone and begin teaching Sunday school. You may have discovered that you are able to soothe those who are hurting and begin encouraging others. You may have discovered that you are able to lead a group of people and became a leader.

But something went wrong and you began to doubt your ability and effectiveness. Eventually you stopped practicing your gift. You fell into a slump and life became unbearable for you as you began to stumble around in the darkness again. But you can recover from this minor setback because God loves you and has invested in your success.

Expression of His Love

New parents hold their newborn in their arms, gazing in awe at what has been created out of their love. They softly caress her face and check her hands and feet to make sure they are complete. They watch her as she grows and gets excited when she discovers her foot for the first time, then lovingly watches as she keeps putting her new foot in her mouth, exploring it. That is how God is with each of us. We were created out of his love and are lovingly watched as you grow. He gets excited when you discover your first gift and watches as you learn to use it.

Just like the baby starts by putting her foot in her mouth, she soon realizes that her feet are not for eating but for walking. Sometimes you don’t know how to properly use your gift and may use it for the wrong purpose and begin to experience struggle. Continuously doing so may make you decide it’s not worth the effort anymore, so you abandon the gift.

Similarly, the baby, now a toddler, discovers she is able to stand and begin to move around the room if she stands up and moves her feet. She begins to experiment with standing until gradually she builds up to taking a step. This is an exciting time for both parents and child. But if the toddler has a bad experience during her discovery and practice, such as falling or getting hurt, she may experience a set back in perfecting her gift of walking. Without proper guidance from the parent she may try to abandon her gift all together because of fear.

Intimately Known

The parent plays a big role in helping the toddler feel secure and continuing to practice her gift until she masters it because the parent knows the toddler intimately. He watches her practice and anticipates the ways she may mess up, so he makes preparations to keep the toddler on track and avoid a major setback, by installing safety measures in the house. As a result the toddler is walking without assistance and secure in her ability to do so.

God knows you intimately and will do the same for you. When you find yourself struggling or fumbling around in the dark with a gift, pray and allow your spirit to be fulfilled with purpose. Seek guidance to:

  • Ask where you got off track and then ask for the proper way to cultivate your gift.
  • If you have developed a fear in that area, seek protection and courage to practice your gift again.

Just like the parent does with the toddler God will fill your spirit:

  • Give you praise when you reach a milestone,
  • Caution when you are going in the wrong direction,
  • Encouragement when it gets hard,
  • Protection from the unseen dangers and,
  • Lovingly reward you when you get it just right.

Accept Your Gift

So take a minute to revisit that book you stopped writing, that song you stopped composing, those classes you stopped teaching, those people you stopped encouraging, that degree you stopped pursuing or those sheep you stopped shepherding.

Accept that your spiritual gifts  are part of you and that you were fearfully and wonderfully made to fulfill purpose through that gift. It’s time to stand and face those struggles and find out how to start again, but this time ask allow your spirit to guide and actively engage you through your process. You will find it is much easier to navigate your new gift with a little loving guidance.

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes

A true visionary and entrepreneur, Bishop T.D. Jakes exudes purpose. Not just when he is in the pulpit but wherever he is, he commands the attention of his audience and inspires them towards purpose. Bishop Jakes is a producer, minister, author, and talk show host. In everything he does his purpose is always the same to uplift people and help them live better lives.

Carolyn Brown from Black Enterprise Magazine originally shared Bishop Jakes’ 11 Principles to Succeed in Business and Life. 

“Here are some of the top lessons the bishop has learned about operating a business and living life authentically:

  1. “You can hire intelligence, but you cannot hire instinct. Instinct can tell you what, why, and when to do something (such as when do you launch a product).”
  2. “Intellect loads the gun —but instinct pulls the trigger.”
  3. “If you have no records, you’re a hustler, not a business person. Data is a tool.”
  4. “Every opportunity I’ve ever seen came dressed as an obstacle.”
  5. “We are aborting too many thoughts prior to birthing them—all success starts as a thought.”
  6. “You are so busy with people who drain you, you don’t have time for people who build you.”
  7. “When what is in you is bigger than what is around you, you have to crack out of that shell.”
  8. “I refuse to be a slave to who you think I am.”
  9. “Find people like you in work ethic, but different in talent. Hire someone to complete you, not compete with you.”
  10. “I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid of not living first.”
  11. “We all have a destiny. Find the courage to drive past the challenges, pains, and even the shortcuts of life.”

PURPOSE OF LIFE: ACCEPT YOUR GIFT

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works.” Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV

Uniquely Created

Being unique means you are one of a kind. You were not made from a mold but fashioned together very carefully. No other being exists like you. There may be someone who is similar to you that may have the same hair color, the same car or listen to the same type of music. But they are not made exactly like you in every way. That was not done by accident. You were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” To be fearfully made means you were made greatly with much intensity and thought.

For His Purpose

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:11 NKJV

Not only are you unique but also you are chosen for a specific purpose that works in accordance with God’s overall plan. Initially you may not know how you fit into the overall plan, which causes you to fumble around in darkness. But at some point in your life God starts to reveal things to you.

You may have discovered that you are a good writer and begin writing a book about your journey with God. You may have discovered you can write and compose songs and begin working on gospel songs for your choir. You may have discovered that you are able to understand and teach God’s word to anyone and begin teaching Sunday school. You may have discovered that you are able to soothe those who are hurting and begin encouraging others. You may have discovered that you are able to lead a group of people and became a minister.

But something went wrong and you began to doubt your ability and effectiveness. Eventually you stopped practicing your gift. You fell into a slump and life became unbearable for you as you began to stumble around in the darkness again. But you can recover from this minor setback because God loves you and has invested in your success, according to Ephesians 1:11, which states, “that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

Expression of His Love

New parents hold their newborn in their arms, gazing in awe at what has been created out of their love. They softly caress her face and check her hands and feet to make sure they are complete. They watch her as she grows and gets excited when she discovers her foot for the first time, then lovingly watches as she keeps putting her new foot in her mouth, exploring it. That is how God is with each of his children. He created you out of his love and lovingly watches you grow. He gets excited when you discover your first gift and watches as you learn to use it.

Just like the baby starts by putting her foot in her mouth, she soon realizes that her feet are not for eating but for walking. Sometimes you don’t know how to properly use your gift and may use it for the wrong purpose and begin to experience struggle. Continuously doing so may make you decide it’s not worth the effort anymore, so you abandon the gift.

Similarly, the baby, now a toddler, discovers she is able to stand and begin to move around the room if she stands up and moves her feet. She begins to experiment with standing until gradually she builds up to taking a step. This is an exciting time for both parents and child. But if the toddler has a bad experience during her discovery and practice, such as falling or getting hurt, she may experience a set back in perfecting her gift of walking. Without proper guidance from the parent she may try to abandon her gift all together because of fear.

Intimately Known

The parent plays a big role in helping the toddler feel secure and continuing to practice her gift until she masters it because the parent knows the toddler intimately. He watches her practice and anticipates the ways she may mess up, so he makes preparations to keep the toddler on track and avoid a major setback, by installing safety measures in the house. As a result the toddler is walking without assistance and secure in her ability to do so.

God knows you intimately and will do the same for you. When you find yourself struggling or fumbling around in the dark with a gift, pray and allow God to help you. Ask Him to show you where you got off track and then ask Him to show you the proper way to cultivate your gift. If you have developed a fear in that area, ask Him to protect you as you begin to practice your gift again.

Just like the parent does with the toddler God will, give you praise when you reach a milestone, caution when you are going in the wrong direction, encouragement when it gets hard, protection from the unseen dangers, and lovingly reward you when you get it just right.

Accept Your Gift

So take a minute to revisit that book you stopped writing, that song you stopped composing, those classes you stopped teaching, those people you stopped encouraging, that degree you stopped pursuing, or those sheep you stopped shepherding. Accept that God has given you this gift and that through Him you were fearfully and wonderfully made to fulfill his purpose through that gift. Turn your struggles over to God and ask him to show you how to start again, but this time ask him to be your guide and actively engage him through your process. You will find it is much easier to navigate your new gift with a little loving guidance.

Start Your Own Business

There is so much involved in starting a business. It takes a lot of work and patience to successfully launch a business and turn a profit. However, many people underestimate the investment of time and planning that is involved before you get your first client or before the major expansion.

In 2010 my company celebrated ten years in business. I could not believe it had been that long. I started out part-time, just to have something to do while I was at home with my children. I grew to love the independence, the power in setting your own agenda, and helping others with their visions. I was making pretty good money on a part-time basis began to explore working the business full-time. But my life plan did not permit me to launch my business full-time.

Plan, Plan and Plan More

That did not stop me though. During my fifth year in business I started planning to launch the business full-time. I was going to launch when my youngest went to school all day. I conducted research and revised my business plan. I decided how I was going to expand, getting office space, adding additional services, and advertising. But it did not happen then. Life happened and I had to alter those plans slightly.

But life dealt me a pretty good hand back in December 2009 when I got laid off from my full-time job. My entrepreneurial spirit was reborn and I began a journey to revitalize my business. It feels good to see those plans come to life. In the process I added a new service, Life Coaching. Which I am passionate about and realize that I have been coaching most of my professional life.

New Opportunities

As our country recovered from the recession, companies were slow to hire. Therefore many are still without jobs. Although there is some growth in the job market, the game has changed. Now most entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. As a result many workers are displaced, including myself. But I turned this into an opportunity.

As I stated earlier, in 2010 I introduced Life Coaching. Since then it has become my primary business and I now longer have the original business that I started 15 years ago. I also returned to school to complete my bachelor’s degree in Psychology-Life Coaching to better position me for business opportunities as a Life Coach. When you are in business people want to know that you are a qualified professional in your area. Therefore pursuing additional education and credentials will lend credibility to your business.

I believe that independent contractors will fair better because companies are still weary about being saddled with the long-term expenses of carrying additional employees. Therefore, we will begin to see a trend of short-term contract positions. One of the most recent surges in this area can be seen with the company Uber, who hires drivers as independent contractors using their own vehicles to offer their transportation services. Traditionally a company would have purchased a fleet of vehicles and hired drivers. But this would have also cut into their profits. Are you ready to market yourself as an Independent Contractor? Do you know where to start?

Discover Your Passion

Start by discovering your passion and then what your marketable skills are. Look at some of the positions you are interested in and consider submitting a proposal to the hiring manager to bring you on as an independent contractor. But do your homework first. Research the type of service you want to provide and make sure that there is a demand. You must also make sure that you price your services appropriately. Ask for what you are worth but make sure it fits within industry standards and that you can justify your rates.

I am so thankful for those early years because I learned a lot about being in business, discovered my passion, and life purpose. I did my homework and planned how I to get started as an independent contractor and how to conduct my business. Those years of planning served as my foundation so when it is time to really launch, all I have to do is dust off my business plan, update some things, and get started.

In order to be successful in business your life plan needs to compliment your business plan. What ever you decide to do, do it passionately, and live your life on purpose.