The gift is in us, but we have the responsibility to stir it up. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6). In the New King James Version of the Bible, the verse is translated, “Stir up the gift of God.” The gift is not something we learn. It is something God gave us. It is something we need to discover and then stir up. No one else can activate your gift for you. You have to do it yourself.
You stir up your gift by developing, refining, enhancing, and using it. That’s where education comes in. Education can’t give you your gift, but it can help you develop it so that it can be used to the maximum. Proverbs 17:8 says, “A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth” (KJV). In other words, a gift is like a precious stone to the one who has it, and whenever he stirs it up, it turns into prosperity. If you use your gift, it will prosper you. Many people are working for money. That’s an inferior reason to work. We must work for the vision within us. Moreover, you are not to mimic the gifts of others. You are to stir up your own gift.
Unfortunately, many people are jealous of other people’s gifts. Let me encourage you not to waste your time on jealousy. Jealousy is a gift robber. Jealousy is an energy drain. Jealousy will take away the passion of life from you. You should be so busy stirring up your gift that you don’t have time to be jealous of anyone else or to feel sorry for yourself. I read an article about Louis Armstrong, the jazz artist. He reportedly applied to go to music school and was brought in for an audition. They gave him scales to sing, but he could sing only the first two notes properly, so they told him he didn’t have what it takes to be a musician. The story said that he cried because they rejected him from the music program. But Louis told his friends afterward, “I know there’s music in me, and they can’t keep it out.” He eventually became one of the most successful and beloved jazz musicians. He sold more records and made more money than scores of others who were more talented at singing.
Now he is forever etched in the history of music. Although we are all born as originals, most of us become imitators. I used to think about becoming like everyone else and joining the rat race. However, then I realized that if all the rats are in a race, and you win, you simply become the Big Rat. I recommend that you get out of the rat race, stop competing with the community, stop being in a contest with society, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, stop trying to please everybody, and say, “I’m not going to be a rat. I’m going to find my own niche.
I’m going to make room for myself in the world by using my gift.”
Dr. Myles Munroe
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