In one of the most famous passages on God’s graciousness in gifting his people, Paul writes these words:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
As you read through this passage in Romans 12, notice a few things when Paul speaks about how we are to skillfully play through life via all our gifts with faith and excellence.
Notice first, that our growth in our gifts is a journey of grace and faith. Not only do we not deserve our gifts, but the more we learn of our undeservedness, and about the grace of Jesus, the more our faith grows. Our gifts follow. Therefore, our growth in skill comes not only in putting in hours of long practice, but it’s growing in our understanding of our limitations; and God’s abilities to work inspite of us.
Also, notice as the passage continues on, that the ultimate end to our skillful use of our gifts is to let love be genuine. Our gifts are to contribute to the needs of the saints, and are to show hospitality to all (vs. 12-13). Isn’t this amazing? Our gifts are not for performance, to sell swag, or to draw anyone’s attention to us. Our giftedness, no matter in what area we express them, is to create environments that welcome people in and allow them to come in contact with Love himself. God.
Therefore, the priority of all our skillful growth is to equip us to create better environments for love to flourish. This means that gifts draw attention away from themselves & not toward self. The right and skillful use of any gift meets actual needs and invites people in to take refuge and comfort.
How can we “skillfully” do such a task in our all our music, work, play, and in the use of all our various talents and gifts?