My friend Victoria volunteered to teach Sunday school while her daughters were young. Although she taught well, her efforts drained her. If I'm not having fun, she wondered, are the children enjoying it?
When our prayer group helped us identify our spiritual gifts, Victoria's strongest gift was administration.
"I feel so relieved!" she told us. And after that night, she quit teaching and supported the Sunday school ministry she loved by finding substitute teachers, keeping supply bins stocked and labeled, and setting out supplementary materials for each week's topic. Everyone benefited from her gifting and she loved the work.
That's how spiritual gifts should be: When God empowers you to serve others through your spiritual gifts and you've found the places where God wants you to use them, you're more alive and fulfilled than during any other pursuit. You might even have fun!
The word passion is defined as "a powerful emotion." Its synonym is enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek phrase en theos, "with God." So if you're enthusiastically pursuing a passion that God has put in your heart, you're doing it with God.
Frederick Buechner put it this way: "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." To search for this kind of passion isn't a selfish quest for fulfillment; rather, it's looking for the exact thing God designed you to do.
If your gifts aren't bringing you joy, consider these possibilities:1