Original or Copy

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]W[/mk_dropcaps]e are built for connection.  We crave to be seen and to be loved.  But there is a price for this.  It comes in the form and function of vulnerability.  Personally, I have been faced with the need to seek out my unique strengths in a new way.  At 32 years old, I will admit that I don't really know what all of my strengths are.  I can take what people tell me I am good at, but to fully believe their compliments is much more difficult as I know my shortcomings all to closely.  To be willing to connect on a deeper level and to be seen requires that we take ownership of what makes us unique.  The unique and handmade GIFTS that God put in you and I are what set us apart from the world.  As we give and unwrap Christmas gifts this season, I want to pause and take some time together to seek out what gifts already lay within each of us.  Many of these gifts may never have been unwrapped, or perhaps unwrapped but never used, or we may simply need a refresher on the qualities and value of the gift itself.  First things first, though.  I want to address the fine print to our gifts- the caution or warning that comes when we choose to finally seek out our gifts.  You see, with these unique gifts, putting them to use means we have to break the mold of what we see as "normal" around us.  It is scary to break the norm because it is comfortable and widely accepted, but also easily overlooked and forgotten.  If we stay in our comfort zone, the parts in us that crave to be expressed will atrophy; causing us to turn into little more than the walking dead.  To live like everyone else would take the joy out of life.  God put gifts in you for a purpose.  Yes, when you operate in your giftings, your life has far more significance and flavor, but even more so lives around you are impacted as you shine the light of our Creator.  Here is the question I want to address together: Why are you operating as a copy rather than an original?  What is keeping you from boldly, lovingly, and sensibly operating in your gifts?  

I have read 2 Timothy 1:7 countless times.  In the NKJV it reads:

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind."[/mk_blockquote]

For the first time, I read this verse in the MSG translation where it says

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"] "God does not want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold, loving and sensible."[/mk_blockquote]

I believe this "shyness" or spirit of fear is what keeps us from taking that step to boldly, lovingly and sensibly walking in our gifts.  I know I have experienced this.  To fully declare my strengths now means I am to operate in them.  I am human.  I make mistakes.  What if I let people down as I step out to be the original God created?  You see, that is what scares me.  To operate as an original means I don't have a pattern or measure to follow that shows me if I am operating well in my strengths, or even improving.  By default that means I am left standing in front of this gray abyss.  But that is a lie.  As I write this, the Lord just dropped a revelation in me that operation as an original is the exact zone where we begin to operate in full surrender and trust of Him.  We let Him lead, correct, and test our character in this position.  We don't have ground rules to follow.  Yet, we do have His word and His principles, and other people who have been bold enough to be their original design.  Honestly, I feel nauseous as I share this with you, but a sort of nauseated excitement that comes right before you ride a rollercoaster. I don't know what comes next.  I don't have a list of 10 steps to help you be your original you.  That would be hypocritical.  But what I do have to say to you and me today is... so what?!  This is the beginning of the adventure.  We get to be pioneers of our own trails.  God is right there in the midst of it.  He is our tour guide.  He will not make us take the steps but He will show us the way and teach us in the process.  Our Lord and Savior is with us every step as we walk out this life and scary adventure; and that is the greatest gift that you and I have received.  Will you join me and dare to unwrap your gifts?


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