Finding Your Sweet Spot - Encouragement for Today - January 14, 2015

Ruth Soukup

January 14, 2015

Finding Your Sweet Spot
Ruth Soukup

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

To many people she was simply ordinary. Nothing special. Forgettable.

An "average" student, she didn’t play sports, wasn’t involved in clubs, was never voted into student council. She never really stood out or commanded attention.

But those people didn’t see her quiet drive and determination.

They didn’t see how she worked her way through high school, saving enough to pay for community college and beauty school. They didn’t see the personal tragedies she endured that inspired her to work harder. They didn’t see her consistently pushing herself to be better, learning everything she could about doing hair, fashion, style and running a business.

Although we now live more than 3,000 miles apart, my childhood friend Alysha still inspires me daily.

Today, Alysha owns and operates a successful salon and boutique. Sleek, stylish and full of sparkle, it’s appropriately named Bliss. Simply walking through the door makes you feel special.

She is not just good at what she does, she is great.

Alysha and I have been best friends since the sixth grade and I’ve had a front-row seat to all the times people underestimated her. I’ve watched her keep doing what she loved, despite her challenges, until she found her sweet spot.

Our sweet spot is that place where our greatest passions and our talents or abilities intersect.

It’s that special place where we feel most called, that thing we love, that thing we’re great at that makes life worth living.

Just like Alysha, living in the sweet spot means having courage to follow our dreams, take risks and work harder than we ever thought to accomplish our goals.

As our key verse in Romans 12 says, each of us has different gifts. Some excel in leading, while some encourage others or effectively serve in the background, giving, organizing or following through. And while some gifts might appear flashier or more important than others, they’re all essential. Your sweet spot is yours alone.

The truth is, all gifts come from God: "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us," (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NLT).

Finding your sweet spot often means a messy process of finding, then learning how to embrace the God-given talents you already have, rather than those you wish you had. It means discovering what you enjoy and are truly good at, then determining how to merge talent and abilities with the ideas, dreams and pursuits you are most passionate about. And sometimes finding your sweet spot means taking a wrong turn — or even failing along the way.

But despite the messiness of it all, my hope is we become fearless and dare to take the plunge, even when it means risking failure. Philippians 4:13 reminds us: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (NKJV)

Don’t let the fear of falling short deter you from trying. You will make mistakes. You will mess up. You may have to admit defeat. Keep going. Use them as opportunities to discover what doesn’t work, but always persevere.

Your sweet spot is there, waiting for you, even if you haven⁏t quite found it yet, and in the end, it is exactly where you need to be.

Dear Lord, help me discover the gifts and talents You gave me, to find that sweet spot You have reserved for me. To encounter that place where my passion and abilities intersect, because I know that it is there that I can do the work You have called me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (NIV)

1 Corinthians 12:17-18, "If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be." (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup will start your year right.

For more encouragement to find your sweet spot, stop by Ruth’s blog today, LivingWellSpendingLess.com.

Enter to WIN a copy of Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup. In celebration of this book, Ruth’s publisher is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here, letting us know why you’d like a copy for yourself OR whom you would give the book to, if you won. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, January 19.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Spend some time today thinking about your dreams and passions, as well as your gifts and areas of expertise. What is it that you love to do? What is it that you’re good at?

Do you know what your sweet spot is and if you are living in it? If not, what would it take to find it?

© 2015 by Ruth Soukup. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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