Who Gets the Gift of You?

“There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 GW)

Two of my respected mentors, coincidentally but I believe, also prophetically, gave me this verse which I believe says something about how much God wanted this truth to be hammered and pressed within me.

I also quoted one of them who asked the following line, “Who Gets the Gift of You?” That is so very powerful and so simple yet very true. Here’s what I believe it says. Some of you may want to challenge me linguistically and say that this isn’t a statement. It was rather a question. Yet the asker of this question crafted it in such a way that you realised there is more to this question. For many years now I have learned to appreciate the value of asking great questions. Good question yields good answer, which yields good information. On the other hand. Great question, yields great answer, which yields wisdom. The question “Who Gets The Gift of You?” Is no different. 

Here’s my take on it. We are all, a gift. Put it more precisely, we are an unopened gift waiting to be opened. We all have talents, spiritual gifts (pardon the pun), abilities, experience and knowledge we could use in various many ways unimaginable to be a gift to someone else. There is a problem though. Have you ever received a gift so disappointing you never actually used it? Or perhaps you kept it in the box, hoping to give it away at the next best opportunity? Perhaps you put it up on eBay or some online shopping website hoping to make money off it? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, then you know precisely what the problem is. 

There are such things as bad gifts and good gifts. There are wanted gifts and unwanted gifts. We will eventually be one. However, we can only be either one. Either we are wanted or unwanted. I am not trying to say that you shouldn’t be grateful for what you have received. A gift is still a gift after all. However, I do not wish to be a hypocrite either. Please allow me to go off-topic for a bit, I promise to come back to it soon.

Here is one very important lesson I learned about gratitude recently. It is a lesson so important I even think about it to sleep these days, It came from a TED talk that I posted in my previous blog post titled The Beginning of an End. In it, the speaker says “[tweet_quote hashtags=”gratitude” ]You do not have to be grateful FOR everything, but you do have to be grateful IN everything[/tweet_quote].” How deep the meaning of this statement, is something I could never express well enough with words. For example, no one can be grateful for the loss of loved ones, nor should they. But, they can be grateful within the process of grieving that they still have other loved ones who survived the deceased and that they will, more than ever, appreciate the value of life. As many would have concurred, “You only really value something after you have lost it.”

Now, let’s take this lesson on gratitude and apply it on how we look at a gift. There may be gifts that we may not be grateful for, yet we should still be grateful in the fact that we did receive the gift. Yet, if the gift itself is disappointing and not of value, then no one in their right mind should judge how you treat the gift. I came across that conclusion, and surmised that the best way we could honor God is that we show our gratitude for the specific talents and abilities that we have. And the best way to show gratitude requires more than words. It requires action and commitment. It requires our commitment to:

  1. want it
  2. seek it,
  3. discover it
  4. study it
  5. learn it
  6. understand it
  7. develop it
  8. grow it
  9. use it
  10. share it
  11. teach it
  12. expand it

The above are just the simple step-by-step suggestions on how to maximise your talents and abilities to honor God and show our gratitude for what He’s given us. Of course, we can still be a gift to someone before knowing about our gifts and abilities. Our smile, our money, our kind words, our listening ear, our shoulder to cry on, and perhaps our most precious asset, our time, all of it can be a gift to every single person we meet on a daily basis.

Ultimately, what we have been given should only be used to bless others and to further the Kingdom of God. Then you can begin letting others “get the gift of you.”

Is there somebody who has been a gift to you? If you can be a gift to someone, what about you are you going to give? Are you finding it difficult to be a gift to someone? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The Beginning of an End – 21 Days Gratitude Challenge

We are finally here.

 

Today marks the end of the 21 Days Gratitude Challenge that began exactly three weeks ago today.

 

It has been a delightful journey to watch and listen to how people are impacted by their intentional effort to focus on gratitude as an attitude rather than much moaning and complaining.

 

As I am write this, I am sitting at the waiting room to board a delayed flight to Jakarta. The flight was delayed by a full two hours and I am so grateful that I bumped into a friend with whom I was able to chat and pass the time.

 

The Gratitude Challenge has brought a change to my body and to my mind. I felt healthier and also a lot happier than I usually am. I am usually a cheerful and happy person but I found I am not as easily ticked now. I also found it easier to accept that things may not always go the way I wanted it to. Things may not be the way you expected it to be, but life must go on. I have found that [tweet_quote hashtags=”gratitude” ]just because things aren’t going your way, it doesn’t mean that you cannot make the new way your way.[/tweet_quote]

 

If you notice the image that I featured to my blog, it was a hand-written letter that some of my dearest friends wrote to me recently. Nothing ever felt so good as some heartfelt written letter of gratitude. Here it is again just for you to how you can add value to someone without having to break the bank.

Wonderful Letter of Gratitude for me.

Wonderful Letters of Gratitude for me.

As a fitting tribute to celebrate the end of the challenge, I have featured a few photos below. These are screenshots I took on my iphone of the many participants who posted what they are grateful for on Instagram with the hashtag #21daysgratitudechallenge.

One final lesson you will definitely love is a video of a TED talk by Bruder David Steindl-Rast. In this popular talk, he shared the secret to being happy. Be grateful.

What has your experience been with the 21 Days Gratitude Challenge? How has it changed your life, or your perspective? Please share in the comments!

Day 16 – 18 of the 21 Days Gratitude Challenge

What are you grateful for, everyday?

We are coming very near to the end of the Gratitude Challenge and it has been an exciting and fabulous journey together. For those of you who participated and followed me, I have enjoyed every moment of sharing the blessings that I received with you.

What I have grown to like and enjoy from this experience is how much it has helped me to actually think and ponder about how I went through my days. Did I live fully like it was the most important days of my life? Did I look at everything from the perspective that I have been blessed beyond what I deserve? Did I make use of every opportunity I have to be a blessing to every single person I met?

 

I have learned that only when I truly appreciate everything I have and enjoy every moment I could that I will be able to feel grateful all the time. [tweet_quote]The unparalleled consequence of being grateful is the constant desire to add value to others and bring the best out of others.[/tweet_quote] Why so? Having an attitude of gratitude allows you to feel content with what you have been given. [tweet_quote hashtags=”gratitude” ]A greedy person live in the ‘never enough’ zone, but a grateful person live in the ‘more than enough enough’ zone[/tweet_quote]. When you live as if everything you have is more than enough, you will inevitably want to give it away.

 

The key takeaway here is that it matters not whether you actually have ‘more than enough’ of what you have. It will happen eventually if you follow the right formula. A wonderful coach I deeply respect coined it first when he said [tweet_quote hashtags=”influence” ]”If you help others get what they want , they will help you get what you want –  Zig Ziglar”[/tweet_quote]

 

A conversation I had with a friend inspired me that one of the keys to being secure financially and attaining financial freedom is the ability to manage your money, and being able to carefully monitor your cashflow. I am grateful that I owe it to both my parents who have hammered the habits and the skills to me early in my life. I never fully grasped the significance the first time I had to do it, but now that I do, I am glad it has become wired in me.

On the weekend, I went hiking with a few friends to visit a place called “Air Terjun Dua Warna” (translated Dual Color Waterfalls) It was one of the most tiring exercise I have ever had yet it was also the most rewarding experience. I have posted a few photos to let you see for yourselves how indescribable the views are as you go up-close and personal with the waterfall. I am grateful that I get to spend a truly rewarding and memorable moments with friends who are both fun-loving yet supportive at the same time.

 

For the past few days I haven’t been able to get decent access to internet as there have been problems with my connection. Two thoughts that came to mind was that I am grateful to be able to spend the precious time that I used to spent online to actually go offline and enjoy my quiet time to collect my thoughts and review my day. The other thought that struck me, reminded me of the significance of being able to connect with people around us. The world is a huge place and we all meet people everyday. Yet there are those people who felt lonely even though there are people all around them. Gadgets and smartphones have, in many positive ways, transformed our lives. Unfortunately, they have also impacted our lives in equally as many negative ways too. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that I needed to disconnect, to actually connect, as emulated in the video below by this Thai advertisement. Let us learn to be grateful for the people we met and appreciate their presence instead of valuing our “relationship” with our smartphones more.

 

 

Please share your journey of Gratitude Challenge in the comments. Looking forward to the many exciting experience. For the final day of the Gratitude Challenge. I will do a special post highlighting those people who have been involved in the challenge. If you would like to be included, please do let me know in the comments!

Day 13 – 15 of the 21 Days Gratitude Challenge

Hello dear faithful visitors and readers.

I must apologise for the lack of updates and posts for the past few days as I have been extremely busy and distracted from my writing activity.

Having said that, I realised that there really is no excuse for me for being inconsistent anyway. Yet, I am desperately and joyfully grateful for what has been happening to me these past few days. The 21 Days Gratitude Challenge is almost over and I am excited that there are people who are still enjoying and actively involved in the challenge. I am sure that they have been benefiting a lot from the experience as well as the change in their attitude and their mindset.

Admittably, there will definitely be times and moments when saying and uttering a heartfelt thanksgiving is the last thing on your mind as you are facing your life’s most difficult moments. I must remind you, however, that, your circumstances will not change regardless of whether you are being grateful or not. What could change and may change is your heart’s attitude and also your perspective on what you are experiencing.

For the past few days, I have been extremely lucky and grateful to be able to minister to a group of church leaders as I taught and shared about John’s excellent book on “Everyone Communicates and Few Connect” These church leaders were lovely and it was such a pleasure to mingle and spent time with them.

I have also had one of my most productive days at work as I got many things done and was even given a unique opportunity to bless my friends and bring good news to them.

I was also able to spend time with my mom as she celebrated her birthday. While I had the greatest opportunity to bring my skills and abilities to coach young students in their career options and selections.

There is, absolutely never a day or any moment that you cannot be grateful for anything in life.

How, or what is your experience so far in your gratitude challenge? Let me know in the comments.

Day 11 and 12 of the 21 Days Gratitude Challenge

Each day I try to find things that I am grateful for and these past two days have been no different. Even after the gratitude challenge is over, there is no reason for me to stop.

There are things that I previously ignored and took for granted. It reminded me of what happened many years ago.

It was when I was still living in Australia. I had been in the workforce for many years and was still living in a rented apartment shared with four friends. We were very fortunate to find an affordable unit with great location for us to share. Previously we had been frantically searching for a place to rent. We were given a very short notice by our place owner to vacate our current place. Long story short, within two weeks we found the unit, contacted the agent, paid the bond money and quickly settled in.

It was after about half a year of moving in that it dawned on me that we haven’t properly offered a prayer of gratitude to God for what He has given us. Previously, we liked to have a weekly gathering where all of us would sit down and pray together for each other, and for our place. We haven’t done it for a while. That’s when I came across the word ‘complacent’. I told my friends about it and we decided to gather together again.

Today, I hope that the attitude of complacency do not get into you. There is nothing that you can NOT be grateful for. You can never run out of things to be grateful for. I highly recommend taking notes and making it physical. It will serve as a powerful reminder for you.

I am grateful today for the roof that I have over my head and the city that I live in. I will be honest to say that there are plenty of things to be concerned about in my city but there are more things to be grateful for. I am especially grateful to have friends around me with whom I can spend time and fellowship with.