Often the gift we receive is never unwrapped and sits idle in our lives.
My wife is a fantastic gift giver. She can remember some obscure thing that I have said and many months later at a birthday or anniversary surprise me with something that is exactly right for me. This goes for our friends and family as well, she has a way of listening to people and remembering what they say. This always makes people feel special.
It would make my wife feel terrible and unappreciated if I didn’t react appropriately to a gift she has put so much thought and time into.
This must be how God feels when we don’t use the gift that he has given us. 1 Peter 4:9 states, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” There are many reasons that we may not use our gift: ignorance, indifference, or insecurity come to mind. But the fact is that we have a God-given gift and we ought to be using it for his glory.
Some of us never even take the time to unwrap our gift. Do you know that the skills and abilities that come naturally to you are a reflection of the gift God has placed within you? I often pray each morning that God would allow me to use the gifts and talents he has given me not for my own glory and honor, but for His glory. Some of us haven’t even explored what our gifts might be and so we walk along ignorant to the fact that they should be used to further God’s kingdom.
Perhaps even worse than ignorance is indifference. We may know what our gift is, but we go along from day to day not at all caring if we use it for God’s glory. We are simply too busy to be bothered with our gift. One thing to note is that in the New American Standard version the verse above says we are to “employ” our gift. We are to put that gift to work. Indifference clearly is not an option.
Finally a third reason we may not open our gift is insecurity. If your gift is evangelism, it means you are going to have to go out and start telling people about Christ. You may face rejection and criticism. If your gift is teaching, you may be called to teach a Sunday school class or small group. This will take up some of your time. If your gift is intercessory prayer you may spend countless hours on your knees each week interceding on behalf of others. Sometimes we feel inadequate for the task at hand and so we simply ignore our gift.
For all these things I would point out that God knows you so well that he will not give you a gift that you are unsuited for. He tailor made your gift to fit you. He alone knows that you are not only able to use your gift but that if you use it for His glory you will be blessed as you seek to bless others.
So find your gift. Your Maker has given it to you. It is a joy to use it for others and you won’t be disappointed that you did.
Father thank you for giving me a gift that is perfectly my own. Thank you for the diversity within the church and the wonderful tapestry of servants you have woven together. Help me to be acutely aware of my gift and help me to look for opportunities to use it each day—not for my glory, but for yours. In Jesus name, Amen.