When I was a child, my mom often called me a “chatterbox” or said “who wound you up?” as if I were a toy monkey. Others teased me for my penchant for talking. In my narrow world, adults could talk as much as they liked and no one rebuked them. But children were considered rude if they chattered.
I grew up believing that talking a lot was a character flaw. When you believe something about yourself, whether it’s true or not, your belief colors your feelings. So I became ashamed of my “gift of gab.” I prayed to listen more than I talk. I berated myself when I kept my husband waiting after church while I visited with a friend (or ten).
Discovering My Gift
As an adult, however, I discovered my gift: communication. Now we know where the source of my desire to talk, sing, teach and write all those words, originated from: the Giver of all good gifts. I have found there is a difference between chattering— just talking to fill up empty space that you feel uncomfortable with— and communicating.
When I say or write something that lifts another out of a deep well of despair or tweaks erroneous thinking about the Father, I am communicating His heart of love and grace. When I pray with someone to receive physical or emotional healing, I am cooperating with the Great Physician to bring his will to earth. When I sing a song of comfort, I am helping Jesus open the door to someone’s broken heart.
I often ask the Lord to keep a watch at the door of my mouth, so I don’t chatter. I want my words to count for eternity. To lift up and build and reveal His goodness and wisdom. To nourish a soul or a million souls. To pass on his heart that spills over with love for you. Even just to make you laugh, so you’ll be healthier. This is communicating my Lord to you. And it’s a gift, not a curse.
You Have a Gift, Too
You have a gift too. Perhaps you love to write fantasy stories, send greeting cards to lonely people, knit mittens & hats, create yummy recipes, or sketch animals. I can imagine—similar to my childhood experience—that in your growing up years someone tried to make you feel ashamed of your gift. A person you admired teased you or twisted the truth to make it seem like your gift was a character flaw. Or, at the very least, unimportant.
I’d like to challenge you to let Jesus shine the light of his love on your gifts. To show you how important they are to him, and to others. He gave them to you. He wants you to use them—even revel in them—and feel his pleasure as you share them with others.
These days I choose to embrace my gift of words. I’m more than a chatterbox. I’m a cheerleader for God.