Discerning Gifts of Time & Talent

Stewardship is really just another way of describing the life of discipleship. It means you are willing to recognize and receive your God given gifts with a grateful heart, cherish and develop them in a mature and responsible way, share them in justice and love in celebration of God’s glory, and return them with increase to the Lord.

We all are given many gifts of time, talent and treasure. Are you sharing your gifts as a good steward? Throwing a $5 bill in the collection basket is just not enough. God and the Church don’t need your money as much as He and we need you.

Below is a guide to help you discern exactly what gifts of time and talent you might have.

Discernment Questions

Although discernment is a gift, it requires our work to uncover it. Here are some reflection questions to consider:

  • What energizes me? What are the occasions and moments in my life when I literally feel the energy in my body from head to toe?
  • What are the deep and persistent desires or tugs in my life . . .tugs that just won’t go away but keep returning?
  • Are there any patterns of recurring observations or events in my life? For example, do I receive the same suggestions or feedback from several different or unconnected people?
  • What new opportunities are opening up in my life? What new challenges are emerging? What new visions are appearing?
  • What doors in my life seem to be closing? What chapters seem to be ending?
  • How have I experienced a growing sense of dissatisfaction or restlessness? Or longing and yearning? Or being at a crossroads or transition point in my life?
  • What have I learned from the successes and failures in my life? What do the ups and downs of my life have to teach me?
  • What endeavors in my life have been especially fruitful?
  • In moments of reflection, what images emerge for my life?
  • What directions or decisions bring me a sense of inner peace? What feels right? (The question is not necessarily what feels easy or comfortable but rather, what feels in tune with our deepest sense of self?)
  • In what directions are the large and small decisions of my life leading me toward greater self-esteem, aliveness, wholeness, health, love, and justice? Or toward isolation and alienation, fear, prejudice, resignation, and a gradual death of self?
  • How would you feel about this decision if you were giving advice to your dearest friend or loved one? What would be your view of this course of action if you were looking back on it from your deathbed?

With thanks to Jean Morris Trumbauer, Minneapolis, Minnesota.