"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"
The author was using the example of the 1924 Olympic runner, Eric Liddell who refused to run a race because it was scheduled on a Sunday. And Liddell believed that was dishonoring to the Lord's Sabbath. Because of his loyalty and faithfulness God rewarded him greatly and he went on to win a gold medal with other circumstances causing the race to be changed to a different day. Liddell believed his joy and ability to run came from God and he used it to glorify God.
All this I understood, using your gifts to glorify God, God taking pleasure in our gifts being used to bring glory to Him. But then the devotion author made a statement that brought me up short and made me think. His exact quote was "Take pleasure in the gifts God has given you this day. And let His glory shine through you." **
What?? I'm to take pleasure in the gifts God has given me also? Well, believe it or not that was a revelation to me, a real "aha" moment. And oh boy. Conviction!! I have not always done that. How many times have people said certain things in my life were a gift and they could never do it and I've brushed it off and in my heart resented it because it's not the gift I've really wanted? And I certainly was not taking pleasure in it? Oh, I've been doing it and doing it the best I can and even giving the credit to God, but deep down I've resented it. How many days have I used the gift but not even paid that much attention to it because my eyes were always looking outward for something else? How much pleasure have I let slide by me because I couldn't recognize it right in front of me? How many times have I, instead, coveted someone else's gifting wishing I could be doing what they do instead? How much grumbling have I done and complaints have I uttered? Yikes. God forgive me. I feel an attitude change coming. God has majorly pinpointed something in my life that I've struggled with so long and couldn't figure out. Something so simple and obvious and yet beyond my grasping up until now. And all it took was a little sentence at the end of a devotional to turn on the lightbulb. Thank God He still speaks into our lives even when we're stubborn and thick headed!
**Hillman, Os. Today God is First - 4 Minute Meditations on the more important things in life. Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2000. pg. 49-50.