Throughout my time in college, I never came to any realization about the difference between my passions and talents. I lumped them together and figured I would eventually discover what I was talented in and this would develop or lead me to my passions.
Almost three years since graduation and after writing an email to a friend, I had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment…a time when I felt the pieces come together and I’ve been able to solidify my views on our passions and talents.
I believe God creates each of us with different passions. Things that he has inherently written on our hearts, interwoven on the strands of our DNA. When we do or experience these things, we are not only operating exactly how God created us to operate, but I believe He takes pleasure in seeing His creation do exactly what He designed.
For me, I’ve discovered a very specific passion since my time in college. Anyone who knows me would probably say my passion is in areas of graphic design, web design, computers, maybe writing, etc. And while I even considered those things in college and would go on to get a degree in those areas, it is not my passion.
My passion is seeing lives changed, especially at the college level. I love investing in the lives of men, one-on-one, speaking God’s truth to groups, writing about God’s character and helping present Jesus in an applicable, relevant way to a culture that finds it easier to disregard Him. Now THAT is a passion!
But what about the design, web, print, etc.? Those I’ve discovered, are talents; tools that God has given me to use in my passion. They are good and I enjoy them, but when I’m doing those things, I don’t believe I’m operating to the exact specifications of the Creator. Call it 75%, maybe higher, but I don’t believe it’s 100%.
Could this then be a bit of a conundrum as my current job is 40 hours a week in my talent, not my passion? Three years in March at my work leads me to believe it’s not a conundrum at all. I love my job. I think the reason I have so much joy and peace is because God gave it to me, He designed it in me just as He did my passion.
Which draws me to some final thoughts, advice for myself, maybe for you…
- It can take years to discover your passion(s). And those passions will slowly evolve and morph depending on where God has you in His plan.
- Simultaneously you’ll come across your talents. Don’t get those confused with your passion. Talents are things you’ll need for your passion.
- Don’t stop searching and seeking God on where you should be and what you’re to do. Don’t settle and believe where you are is as good as it’s gonna get, that God doesn’t want to continue to refine and define you and your life. And don’t trade a passion for a talent.
- If you are in a place, like myself, where you know your 40 hours a week are in a talent, be patient. If you are seeking after what God desires He is going to reward your time and your efforts and deliver you your passion in some way, shape or form.
Passions and talents are uncharted waters for many of us, including myself, because I believe God is constantly shaping and re-shaping them. This is by no means a definitive guide on “How To Do Life” nor should it be used as the basis for any major life decision. It’s simply what I’ve been learning, thinking and writing about.
Hopefully you’re encouraged…