Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bragging Rights

I am involved in a program on campus called "Catholic Studies Leadership Interns." This past weekend we had our beginning of the year retreat. In this program we are called "Young colleagues and professionals" and are expected to dress and act accordingly. Here is what I put together:

Top: Gordman's, Necklace: Target, Skirt: Forever 21

During this retreat we discussed the basics of what it means to be a Christian leader. As the Lord usually does, He spoke through our main speaker, Fr. Keating, on a topic I have really been struggling with lately: the gifts and skills we have been given. To be a leader is to lead through the skills and gifts you have.

Before this school year, I thought using the gifts and skills you have was automatically bragging. I took on the mindset that using something I have been given that not everyone has would be like shoving it in their face that I have this and they don't. I would never want to make anyone feel bad about that, but perhaps more importantly on my mind was that I didn't want people to judge me for thinking I was "all that" with these skills. 

However, my amazing friends, along with the talk I heard this weekend, have really opened my mind to the reality and purpose of gifts and skills. Let's face it, we all have been given different gifts, skills, desires and traits. Some have a knack for musical instruments, some have a mind for mathematics, some really understand and appreciate science, others are very loyal and hard-working in less desirable fields, and still others are great companions to those in need. Whatever we have been given, it is our duty to use and express these gifts for others. We are not meant to keep them to ourselves or use them to promote self, as they will be corrupt, die and only produce pride in us. Rather, the purpose of gifts is to share them with others, especially with those who have not been gifted in this particular way. Further, to envy other's gifts is to miss the point of them. The gifts are not for ourself, but rather to share with others. Therefore, if another person has been given a unique quality, you should rejoice that the Lord has bestowed them with you because you can benefit from it!

One can truly add a lot to her community and society when she recognizes the skills she has, in addition to those she desires using (ex. You may have a mind for math but think it is ridiculously boring,) but especially recognizing, honoring and giving thanks to the Giver.

A great way to discover what you are good at is by trying new things, being open to suggestions and paying attention to compliments people give, or the tasks people regularly ask of you. Further, you will be doing a great service if you point out the gifts you see others possess.
If you are careful to share your gifts with others, not keeping them to yourself, recognizing where they come from, and do so with humility and not in self promotion, you are doing it right.

What gifts have you been given, and in what ways are you sharing them?

1 comment:

  1. This was helpful. Thank you for sharing the gifts you have of articulation and clarity! moings!