I posted a quote to Facebook yesterday and I wanted to expound upon it some more. The Facebook post is embedded above, but here’s the quote:
“I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Where, when or how I came across that quote, I do not remember. But it has stuck with me ever sense. And so I shared it as an inspiring quote on Facebook and tagged some other writers I know.
After I posted it, something activated within me even more. Just the processes of getting it out there and encouraging other writers to take their callings seriously stirred me all the more to take my calling seriously. How much longer would I back-burner what I know is a mandate on my life?
Do Not Neglect Your Gift
I was praying and talking with God about it during my mid-morning power walk and remembered Paul’s famous exhortation of Timothy in 1 Tim 4:12-16:
12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Timothy’s gifting and calling was to be a pastor-teacher, (as some translations put it). He was to devote himself to oversight of the flock and to teaching… and to continuous improvement as an overseer and teacher!
Your Gift is Important
That same exhortation can be applied to your calling and mine. What has God uniquely gifted you to do? What are you passions and causes? What excites you or fires you up that bores others? What makes you come alive?
Regardless if it was given via a prophetic activation and the laying on of hands or not—your gift is important and is needed.
But gifts are like muscles: they atrophy when not used. You need to exercise and strengthen you giftings, just like your muscles. My muscles are not what they used to be when I was an extremely active high schooler and young adult. I’ve lost a lot of tone and a lot of strength. The same could be said for my writing, which has been very infrequent since getting married. My strength as a writer has diminished and weakened over the years.
I haven’t “Practice[d] these things, immerse[d] [myself] in them, so that all my see [my] progress.” If anything, all have seen regression. Boooo!
(The same could be said for my photography. I couldn’t even figure out how to do bracket exposures on my new camera last time I took it out. Eeek!)
What We Do in Life Echoes in Eternity
Chapter 4 wraps up with Paul saying: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Timothy was to continuously review the fruit of his life and his teaching… because it would impact eternity.
Apply that to your gifting. Recognize that, as Maximus says in Gladiator, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
Who might be saved by persisting in your calling? Who might be lost by neglecting it?
I’m a dealer in words and pictures. I communicate truth creatively (my personal mission statement).
What are you a dealer in?