It’s a familiar story for many of us putting in our time on this glorious earth. I was struggling for a while earlier this year about my purpose in life: What am I supposed to do?
A friend recommended I read Purpose Driven Life by Dr. Rick Warren. I remember when it came out more than 10 years ago. It made headlines and helped thousands, if not millions, of readers find clarity and direction. But not me. I had clarity, or so I thought. Until this spring when I was searching… for something.
Wow! I have gotten so much out of this book and will likely write more on the subject. For now, however, I’ll simply touch on the part that focuses on finding — and using — your spiritual gifts. When I was in Minnesota earlier this month, a friend asked me why I hadn’t been writing. “I don’t know,” I told her.
The truth is, I had lost my inspiration, or at least ignored it.
“Never walk away from your true gifts,” she later said in a text. I cried. The next chapter in the book was on finding and honing your spiritual gifts.
But how do you know what they are? In PDL, Warren explains that you are usually passionate about your spiritual gifts, enjoy using them and can get lost in them. Furthermore, your spiritual gifts are things you are good at. For years, I have written poetry, completely losing track of time while writing. I have been able to express very difficult experiences and emotions through poetry.
After reading the chapters on spiritual gifts and using them for God’s glory, I thought, ‘Why not turn my poetry toward subjects of faith?’
I was inspired to write about temptation, which Warren calls a compliment. “Satan doesn’t have to tempt those already doing his evil will.”
The Devil’s Compliment
Temptation is a compliment;
You’ve lived a godly life.
The devil doesn’t target those
Already on his side.
As soon as you get comfortable
The evil one will strike.
First he’ll plant the seeds of sin
In the soil of your mind.
Next, he’ll wait so patiently
For your sinful thoughts to ripen.
When they grow beyond control;
His grip on you will tighten.
Satan knows the time to pounce,
And put temptation in your life:
Cheating on your husband or your wife.
What the devil doesn’t tell you
Is that indulgence has a price.
You’ll turn your back on all you love,
Including Jesus Christ.
Before you take that final step
Fulfilling dark desires.
Imagine life away from God,
Burned by Satan’s fire.
Cry out loud, in desperation,
God wants to hear your call.
Ask for help, while you still can,
Before you take the fall.
But if you fall, as humans do,
There’s something you should know.
Forgiveness is available.
God’s love and mercies flow.
Jesus died up on that cross
So that we all may live.
Salvation’s ours if we believe
And strive to lead a life like his.
Temptation is one compliment,
I’d rather not accept.
Devil, dance without me,
With faith, I’ll pass God’s test.
Warren adds that everyone is good at something, hundreds of things, at least. But sometimes, it can take time, effort and quiet introspection to discover one’s spiritual gifts. Once you make that magical discovery, use it! After all, according to Warren, “An unwrapped gift is a wasted gift.”
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