This blog and my book Life Palette is all about helping people, you, to discover and live as the masterpiece God created you to be. With all of my heart I believe that God created you as His masterpiece: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph 2:10 NLT) The question then becomes: “why doesn’t my life look like a masterpiece?” The answer is simple: God has given us the part of making decisions and choices that can affect the look of His masterpiece. He is the artist of the masterpiece; we give Him the palette to work with – your Life Palette.
In creating you God gave you a basic makeup that consists of your personality, natural talents, and abilities and as a follower of Jesus, Spiritual gifts. All of these are a part of His design in you as His masterpiece. Our part is the daily discipline and cultivation of these areas. Much like a person who is gifted in music, unless they are willing to practice and develop their skill they will not reach their potential. Every part of your design and makeup that God has given you comes with the responsibility of discipline and development. Discipline and development begins with knowledge and understanding. You must know and understand how God has made you – your God given makeup. Here are a few questions to help in this journey:
What Are Your Strengths?
Begin with strengths. What are your natural strengths? Whatever God has gifted you to do, you’ll do it naturally—but because it seems so natural, there’s also a tendency to feel like anybody could do it. When I first started speaking publicly, I thought everybody wanted to stand on a stage and speak to a crowd. It came as natural to me as sitting in my living room watching a football game; it’s wasn’t something I had to make myself do. I didn’t realize, though, that my ability to be in front of people and remain calm and comfortable was a natural gift until the day I hired a children’s pastor who told me she would do anything I asked of her—except to get in front of a crowd and speak. I couldn’t believe it. I thought everybody wanted to be the center of attention.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
It’s important to know your weaknesses, not so that you can turn them into strengths, but rather that you can focus on and live in your strengths rather than labor in your weaknesses and miss living in your potential all together. When I was younger, serving as a leader, I often tried to work on my weaknesses, areas where I needed to do things I really didn’t enjoy doing. The more I labored with my weaknesses, the more frustrated I became, and at the same time the talents God had naturally given me were going unused. It was as though I was trying to add colors to my Life Palette God never intended to use on my life canvas, while removing the colors He wanted to use and limiting Him from painting His masterpiece.
What Are Your Interest?
God’s plan for you, as His masterpiece, includes your interest. Often I hear people say they are afraid to follow God because they may have to do a bunch of things they hate doing. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has created you with interested that you naturally desire (not sinful interest – that is a different blog all together) to be used for His purpose and destiny in your life as His masterpiece. He desires that you live a fulfilled life: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 (NLT)
What Are My Opportunities?
It’s great that you have hopes and dreams for the future. I think you should, in fact in Life Palette I write about how you should develop your dreams and how important they are in your life. However, many people miss the opportunities God is placing before them today because they are so focused on tomorrow. Unfortunately, that will often cause you to miss out on the dreams of tomorrow as well, because the opportunities of today are God’s building blocks for the dreams of tomorrow.
If you are going to live in your potential as God’s masterpiece you need to have an awareness of strengths, weaknesses, interest and opportunities. You must become aware of where you are currently to know where you want to go tomorrow.
Take some time today to begin answering these four questions. Write them down, discuss them with someone who knows you best, get their feedback and begin developing a plan and strategy for going forward.