I've been thinking a lot about singing. I started taking lessons in the 8th grade at Little Flock and I really enjoyed doing it. After a few times of performing and being told I was a natural, I got pretty full of myself and thought I was something great. I wanted to go to UofL and study vocal music with the real singers, the ones that knew their stuff. In choir I was a soprano, which I always thought were the best because they sang the highest notes. Obviously my liking for music was for the wrong reasons; it was just something I had for myself to feel good. I used it to make the stupid girls that sang at the talent show feel dumb, because I actually had training. However, I ended up being the one who ran out. Once my voice started to change (slightly, but if you're a singer you will notice), I couldn't hit those high notes anymore and my range wasn't anywhere it used to be. (That also could have been the result of lack of dedication and practice.) I wasn't the best at it, there was always someone who could do it better, and I got defeated. I stopped singing and I found new dreams.
God has been dealing with me about my pride with singing, because I know it's a gift He wants me to use. I just know He can't use it if I am using it to step on other people or to just make myself feel good. He's helped me to realize that high notes do not equal great singer, that I should sing what I can sing, and I don't have to be the best at it to make Him happy. Even those that we say are terrible, God delights in hearing their voices. That's the difference in singing Gospel music - it's not done for our entertainment or our flesh. It's done to praise God and to minister to others through it.
Maybe someday Josh and I will really begin singing. However, we don't want to do it because we think we're awesome. We can hit up some karaoke or something for that. We don't want to do it because our parents will hear us and be proud. We don't want to do it for my awesome musician brothers who I've always sought to impress. & We don't want to do it to receive compliments. We want to do it for God. Without God, I'd still be prideful and sulking over not being the best. Believe me, it's pure freedom to sing without worrying about how I sound constantly.
So whatever your gift is - use it. Just don't use it for yourself or to win others. It'll fail you in the end.