The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website


gift 750AT
Are your giftings a blessing to others?

Andrew Frere-Smith shares his admiration for people who use their giftings to improve the lives of others.

I believe we are all gifted, in one way or another. Our gifts are intended to be a blessing to others and to bless us.
There have been occasions when I have witnessed people using their gifts and it has almost taken my breath away, whether they were a Premier League footballer, an award-winning musician, or an actor on a West End stage. These people, at the peak of their profession, seem to be able to do the impossible and they make it look easy!
Impressive though these people undoubtedly are, the most impressive are those who use their gifts selflessly, people who are driven by a deep sense of compassion. They do not necessarily receive a high salary or public acclaim - much of their best work goes unseen. Their reward comes simply from knowing that they have helped someone and in doing so have used their time well. These are the people that do take my breath away.
Witnessing the work of nurses and care staff, looking after the sick and elderly, has left me humbled. Watching a volunteer in a homeless hostel give their full attention to a guest, who is past the state of even caring for themselves, has been inspiring. And no less wonderful, the primary school teaching assistant assigned a pupil with ADHD, who tests their patience to the limit, and yet they start each day offering a clean slate, a new start, endless hope, and forgiveness.
Gregory Boyle describes these compassionate people in his book ‘Tattoos on the Heart’. He claims they have Christ-like qualities because they ‘chose a oneness in kinship and a willingness to live in other’s hearts. Jesus was not a man for others. He was a man with others...Jesus didn’t seek the rights of lepers. He touched the leper even before he got round to curing him. He didn’t champion the cause of the outcast. He was the outcast…The strategy of Jesus is not centred in taking the right stand on issues, but rather standing in the right place – with the outcast and those relegated to the margins.’
I have had the privilege of meeting people who possess some of this Christ-like compassion. They absolutely take my breath away. Perhaps it’s time I stopped dreaming of becoming a professional footballer. I think there might be a better way to try and use my gifts!
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

This article first appeared in the Imagine Norfolk Together: King's Lynn Newsletter.


AndrewFrereSmith750Andrew Frere-Smith is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together, based in Kings Lynn.



The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users. 

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here. 

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk