I make a living running a non-profit organization, a church. I also pastor a tremendous group of people. Consequently, I spend a great deal of time trying to match the gifts of people with various ministries. It is an art more than a science. I ask for volunteers a lot. I love when I get a match that allows a person work within her “sweet spot,” ministering using her God-given bent.
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (Amplified Bible)
You may remember it this way.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
The passage means that we are to learn our children’s (and our own) bent (gifts, talents, inclinations, interests) and leverage it as much as possible, respecting the God-infused identity of each unique person.
How many times to we say, “That’s not my gift,” when turning down a ministry opportunity but really cannot answer what our gift (bent) is? How many of us mold our children to follow in our footsteps (interests) rather than their bent? Will they be as confused as we are?
May you be free to experiments to find your bent and may our children be given the same freedom. This is messy but necessary, holy, work.