When you read the word gift, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? And what do you think of when you put it in the TCK context?
There are “typical” gifts many of us think TCKs possess. They include but are not limited to fluency in multiple languages, people skills, and cultural understanding. We can define them as special competencies.
But some TCK talents are not as extraordinary. They’re so normal that we may not even consider them as gifts.
In my church in the Czech Republic, I was involved in the music ministry by playing the piano. After each service, I’d practice the next Sunday’s hymns with the song leader. While I played, my mom would pour water into glasses and distribute them.
Serving a cup of water may seem insignificant. But Jesus notices even the smallest of actions.
“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42 KJV
Do Our Gifts Give Us Value?
Many of us think that we’re useless if we don’t possess a special gift or that having a special talent makes us significant. Taking it further, we may feel upset if we don’t relate to the TCK label because we don’t have the “typical” TCK gifts.
Other people often associate us with our gifts and compliment us on these. If we’re not careful, we can start crediting any “success” to ourselves rather than to God, and elevate ourselves as “better” Christians. As a result, we think highly of ourselves because of what we do instead of placing our value in the One who made us.
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3 KJV
What Christ Wants From Us
Should we let our talents define our worth? No. You see, a gift is more than the simple act of giving a cup of water because Jesus wants our hearts. And when our hearts are dedicated to Him, it is reflected in our actions whether they be big or small.
“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV
We should use our gifts because we love Jesus and desire to serve Him instead of using them to make us appear to be “highly spiritual” Christians. Using our gifts is merely a way of showing whom we hold in our hearts because our purpose is to glorify Him, not ourselves.
If our hearts are not looking at Him when we serve, our actions are pointless, and our gifts? Useless. We shouldn’t place our hearts in our talents since they don’t give us worth. Instead, our true worth and identity is in Jesus. Without Him, we’re nothing.
As for the “typical” TCK gifts, we don’t need to be fluent in multi-languages to fit the TCK persona. We don’t need to be talented in a certain area to serve God in various countries. As long as our hearts love and desire to glorify Him, we can serve Him with actions as small as giving a cup of water.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 KJV