Live in Your Gifts

A few months back, I read a SCL post that smacked me right in the forehead.

It was quite timely because earlier in the week, my wife and I had been talking about a few things that were heavy on her heart.

Because of our prior conversation, and as a result of that post, I felt led to send her a note of encouragement.

Among others things in the email I sent her, I said this:

I encourage you to live in that gift (the gift of kindness towards others and loving others in extraordinary ways). Remember that the only reason that Satan is attacking you in this area is that it is significant. God has designed you to build up, encourage, and love people. Satan wants to take his “sniper” and specifically knock you down in this area.

Three specific points stuck out:

  • Satan will never attack something that is insignificant.
  • Satan is not a shotgun; he is a sniper rifle.
  • Live in your gifts.

All it took was a simple note. A small measure of intentionality. Sitting in her inbox even now (6 months later), words of encouragement and affirmation are extremely important.

We, as believers, have many gifts to build up and edify others. There also is an Enemy out there that would love for nothing more than to discourage, depress, and demoralize those gifts.

What does it mean/look like to live in your gifts? Keep writing even if you don’t know what to say. Keep investing in your children even if you don’t see “immediate results”. Keep reaching out to your friend even he doesn’t reciprocate. All these things matter… even when discouragement seems to temporarily shadow them every once in a while.

::

Who can your encourage today?
What gift do you need to start “living in”?

34 Comments

  • Moe

    August 5, 2011

    You actually write emails to your wife? So 1994. :)

    Who can I encourage today? How about you Dustin. I encourage you to go home and give a piggy back ride to Jen and then all the girls at home, then go outside and do cartwheels in the name of fun. Then put one foot on a rock and yell, “Freedom!” and then proceed to take your family to eat out and laugh out loud! We need more laughter in our lives. The sniper doesn’t like when we laugh. He likes to see us cry.

    Have a good weekend. Cheers to the fam!

    Reply
    • Jason Vana

      August 5, 2011

      And make sure you do it all with a rubber glove on your head, yelling “I’m a squid, I’m a squid!”

      It would make me laugh =D

      Reply
    • Dustin

      August 5, 2011

      Dude, that is a grrreeeaaat idea. I’ll report back on Monday.

      Reply
      • Tess

        July 19, 2016

        Thank you for doing away with those stream wrappers. I was advised to go with another theme entirely because of this issue and I wa&;7#821snt about to change hosts. I really love this theme and I’m glad that I can keep using it.

        Reply
  • Sandy Sandmeyer

    August 5, 2011

    Your post already encouraged me! What a wonderful thing to do for your wife. You hit the nail on the head, encouraged, and didn’t try to “fix” it for her. Women love that!

    Reply
  • Jason Vana

    August 5, 2011

    I try to live in my gifts as much as possible. It’s why I keep writing, why I keep encouraging and pushing others to reach their potential and why I continue moving forward with Ignite and my Branding/Design business even when things don’t seem to move forward.

    So what does it look like for YOU to keep living in YOUR gifts, Dustin?

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 5, 2011

      Keep moving forward. Great advice, Jason.

      For me? I want to remember to keep pressing forward on this blog. I’ve received notes of encouragement through it, but I don’t trust God sometimes that He’s speaking through it–embracing this voice, I suppose…

      Reply
  • Loren Pinilis

    August 5, 2011

    It’s amazing how much Satan uses discouragement to try and keep us ineffective. I know as a Bible study teacher, it felt like the only input I ever got was negative. It was incredibly discouraging. I realize that most people probably think positive things but just never get around to saying them. It was a challenge for me to make sure that I was encouraging those people whose ministry I benefited from.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 5, 2011

      Speaks to follow-through, for sure. If we think encouraging thoughts yet don’t speak them out, nothing happens. Good reminder, Loren.

      Reply
  • Jon

    August 5, 2011

    I can encourage one of my brother in law. He’s been dealing with some things so I know that he could use it.

    The second question is a toughie. I guess my gift of helping others. I know it’s vague, but I’m in the process of continuing to figure out how exactly. Whether it be through writing or listening or whatever else…

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 5, 2011

      Cool, thanks for sharing that Jon. I’m speaking for her right now- but I’d say my wife is similar: in many ways she is always helping others (giving up of her time, kindness toward others, gifts, etc).

      Reply
  • Arny

    August 5, 2011

    I can encourage my wife more….she needs me. right now she is feeling useless (the stay at home mom scene). But i know that is not true…so whatever she is into encourage her to the best of my ability…right now she is into running…she just entered a marathon for breast cancer (her mom had it) and i’m encouraging her every day on it!…

    Reply
  • Dustin

    August 5, 2011

    awesome – def encourage her. stay at home mom = tough job. way underpaid! :)

    that’s awesome about the marathon… which one?

    Reply
  • Luther Wesley

    August 5, 2011

    Have you ever doubted your gifts? I have and I am currently questioning certain aspects of what I am doing right now ( writing for one ).

    It is amazing, however, the way in which God has gifted us for where we are when we are there. We are the Body and the members have specific purposes they must walk in.

    But is it ever hard at times

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 5, 2011

      Oh yeah, absolutely… sometimes I feel so tired in some areas (blogging for example) that I question it. But, I’m certain God uses (like you mentioned) other people in our lives to confirm and encourage us in these areas.

      Reply
  • Luther Wesley

    August 5, 2011

    Oh yeah…. I would live to see the squid

    Reply
  • ThatGuyKC

    August 5, 2011

    Never underestimate the power of your words to encourage your wife. Thank you for building up your wife and challenging us to live in our gift and use it to serve others.

    I am discovering a love of building community and connecting people. I’m not the smartest person and I don’t know everything, but I know a lot of smart people who seem to know almost everything.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 6, 2011

      Cool, thanks for the comment KC.

      You bring up a good point: the impact and value that others bring into our lives/gifts is so important as well.

      Reply
  • Daniel

    August 6, 2011

    Encouragement is so critical in a relationship. My wife and I have made a commitment to build each other up, publicly and privately. It shocks us how many couples are willing to tear each other down. As my wife nears labor, I need to be diligent about encouraging her through the process.

    I am working at living my gifts. Wisdom is perhaps the strongest, yet the most difficult gift for me to live in. True wisdom comes from God alone. Yet I so often fail to seek His wisdom. Using the gift of wisdom is like piloting a glider instead of a motorized plane. Under my own power, in a motorized plane, I go where I will at what speed I will. In a glider, I have no self power. Rather I let the wind (the Pneuma, the Spirit) direct me and guide me where it wills. To stay airborne, I must feel the current of the wind and partner with it. Too often, I am flying by my own power instead of gliding with the wind. I always run out of fuel, but the wind can carry me without ever landing.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 6, 2011

      Daniel, what a great illustration. Thank you for sharing that!

      Reply
  • rachelle

    August 6, 2011

    thanks for this post Dustin! Just recently I was talking to a friend about this topic. It was a foreign topic to her and it was a great opportunity to share God with her.

    I’m a patient listener. I’ve taken time to listen to those around me, even if they’re brief acquaintances in life or complete strangers. Little did I know, this trait would be a huge part of my day job. I get to encourage international students on a daily basis. It’s opened my eyes about how to, genuinely, build up people around me.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 6, 2011

      Rachelle, thank you for the comment. It’s neat to hear that you feel your able to use the everyday. I’m thinking about how you put that: patient listener. I like that!

      Reply
  • douglas

    August 6, 2011

    I’ve been encouraging to a friend dealing with an issue. My encouragement has been toward the way the issue has been approached. My friend has done a good job on it.

    the gifting of being a Barnabas (son of encouragement) is one that I been living. a gifting I want to start living in the gifting of Solomon who asked for wisdom.

    Reply
    • dustin

      August 6, 2011

      douglas, thanks for sharing. i’m certain your friend is appreciative of you simply being there for him!

      Reply
  • Keri

    August 6, 2011

    I’m still learning what my gifts are, and realizing that some gifts are for different seasons and I need to be okay with that.

    I love that you encouraged your wife in words.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 8, 2011

      Thanks for your comment, Keri!

      Reply
  • Luther

    August 8, 2011

    I just noticed…my image is not showing up…..sheesh…so how do you register on this site so I can have my own face.

    I realize I am a dork…but that is life

    Reply
  • Alex Humphrey

    August 9, 2011

    One of the things I feel strongly about is encouragement. I think it is honestly one of my giftings. I have been lacking in encouragement the last few weeks as I have let a lot of little things stress me out and get in the way.

    Thanks for this post, Dustin. I needed a good reminder.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 9, 2011

      i can definitely see through your blog that you are an encourager. keep it up!

      Reply
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