I have been told by many people that I am gifted/talented. I used to sing solos in big churches and in the choir I was always getting the good parts to sing. I have been told I am a great cook. I am packing 50 extra pounds as a testimony to that statement. I can train horses, dogs, birds, and sometimes small children to behave in an orderly fashion. I dabble in watercolor painting and I am starting to write some articles. As time has gone by; I no longer sing much because I developed nodules on my vocal cords. I do very little gourmet cooking since it is just my husband and myself. We have one dog and I think he has trained us both to behave in the way he likes. But I have one gifting/talent that did not come from my Father and it does not go away nor can I pray it off of myself… and that is my ability to offend people without even trying. This is a heartache and a self-loathing behavior that will pop up out of the blue and I will be standing in the middle of my kitchen in shock and tears. How could I have done it one more time?

At one time in my life I was quite proud of this talent. I was a battered and beaten individual that was manipulated and betrayed by every person I had looked to for safety. I had been betrayed by friends and family alike. So, I had developed some survival skills that I used to make sure that I would draw first blood. No one was going to use, abuse, abandon, reject, accuse me without paying a high price. I did not know about the peace of Jesus. I just knew pain. And I knew how to inflict it.

When I finally found out who I was created to be, and all the amazing plans that had been made by my wonderful Father, my life went from pain to compassion. It took a while to drop many of my survival skills from the past, but I let them go one by one with great gladness. Loving others unconditionally is a goal I am still perfecting. I can trust Jesus, but people just seem too unpredictable to be safe some times. But in all that I seek to be totally free of, I cannot seem to stop offending others, even though that is not my goal. I was advised that it is not so much that I am being offensive, it is that the offended party is choosing to take offense. OK. But I still feel awful and totally without compassion when I hurt someone by the words that come roaring out of my mouth.

What good are spiritual gifts if we cannot keep from inflicting wounds? “Here, let me break your arm so I can pray for your healing.” When the Lord says to us that Love is the greatest gift of all, I am all over that! Can I get an “AMEN”? But to be a messenger of hurt and pain just does not line up with what God intended for any of us to walk in. I have prayed that I would be a messenger of love. That what comes out of my mouth would be a blessing and an uplifting gift to the Body. This is my heart. But I still continue to offend innocent people occasionally. I have tried making deals with God,”What can I exchange this talent for? Anything?” So far He has lead me to still waters and told me to drink deeply. I am pretty sure He is waiting for me to realize that He is my confidence, not my apology. The “talent” of offending people did not come from Him, so how can He take away something I am still holding onto in case of an attack? He is telling me that I can stop falling into the enemies’ plans and pray for a watch on my lips and tongue as I listen more intently to His voice. He also pointed out that He had people that He had offended. On purpose. I guess sometimes you just have to say what you have to say and live with the consequences. But never let it be words that throw an arrow into someone’s heart.

I want to be a messenger. I want to be His messenger. I want to be what He has dreamed for me to be. I want to bring life. I want to speak life.

Now I just have to realize… that is what He created me to be. Now I must be it.

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