As soon as I read this passage, it seemed to jump off the page and land in my heart. Implied in this sentence is the fact that I have some special gift within myself: a unique talent and ability, something the Lord Himself has granted to me, something that, if used properly, will bring glory to my Maker, while also fulfilling my sense of accomplishment.
I am told not to neglect this gift, but first, how do I determine what it is? Perhaps the first step is simply to acknowledge its existence. I know that as a young girl I was never told that I possessed such a gift. (I wonder how many young boys and girls were told about this.) I feel such hope and joy and opportunity just in the knowledge of this possession.
I think next I start looking for clues to determine what my particular gift is. What do I enjoy doing? What am I good at? What doesn't really feel that hard to do - is fun? I think these are good clues. This is hard to do - to admit I'm good at something, without pride rearing its ugly head. It's humbling when I remember it's a "gift."
The next step is to stop wasting so much of my time doing things that I don't enjoy. I need to free myself from some non-fulfilling activities and give myself time and peace to find my gift, or rather to let this gift find me. If it is truly a Divine gift, then human effort must make room for the Holy Spirit to work. I need to pray for enlightenment and discernment. The knowledge will surely come.
Finally, once I know what my gift is, I must not neglect it. I need to find a way to put that gift to use. St. Paul says it so perfectly in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (9:12-15), "For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God's people, but also produces an outpouring of grateful thanks to God. And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the Gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. And so with deep affection they will pray for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown you. Let us thank God for His priceless gift."