By Rev. Joseph D. Creedon, pastor emeritus, Christ the King Parish, Providence, Rhode Island. This excerpt is seventh in a series based on his current book. Good Stewards Learn to Develop God’s Gifts

 God has blessed each of us with many gifts and our task is to discover, acknowledge and develop those gifts. Some of our gifts we discover ourselves; other gifts have to be pointed out by others. One of life’s greatest challenges involves discovering and developing all of our God-given gifts. Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, scout leaders and friends play an important role in this journey. Once we know we have a gift, we have to believe in the gift and commit ourselves to developing it.

We have to work on our gifts and have the discipline to hone them to perfection. Blessed John Cardinal Newman once said, “Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.” Many people are afraid to test their gifts. Fear of failure, it seems, is pervasive. We are not born with a fear of failure. Fear grows on us. Fear wears many disguises – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of ridicule, fear of not belonging, fear of looking foolish – to name but a few of fear’s disguises. All of fear’s disguises lead to stagnant energy. Fear always brings with it inertia and inertia always leads to stagnation. No one develops their gifts responsibly without risk-taking, hard work and overcoming fear.