“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:6-7.
What are you really good at? Listening? Or showing empathy? Maybe you’ve never met a computer glitch you couldn’t repair, or you’re an amazing manager. Perhaps you just seem to uncover opportunities to help people wherever you go. Whatever your talent or skill is, it comes from God. God doesn’t give us talents or skills so we can be uber-successful. While that can happen, God wants us to be “good and faithful servants” with our talents.
Jesus tells the parable of three servants who were given one, two, and five talents respectively. The two servants who received five and two talents used the money wisely and doubled it in business ventures. The third servant buried the money in the ground and didn’t even loan it to lenders to draw interest. Remember, one talent was plenty of money to do something with. It could have been used wisely. Each servant was given according to how well he had proved his abilities. The point is not how much you’re given, but how well you use what you’re given.
Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift. Wayne Gruden in Systematic Theology describes a spiritual gift as “any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church.” In 2 Timothy 1: 6-7 we read these words that Paul wrote to Timothy. “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
What talents or gifts has God given you? Today is a good day to take an honest inventory of all the abilities God has endowed you with. And more importantly, ask yourself: Why has God given me these talents? There are many examples of ways talents can be used to show glory to God. If you are gifted in teaching, perhaps you can use your talents to lead a small group. Do you find it easy to converse with others? Consider using that gift to ask someone who is lonely to lunch. Is cooking one of your talents? Preparing meals for a person who lost a family member could be one application of your talent.
Look for opportunities to serve God and use your gifts in your daily life. Using your talents for God might not look the same every day. Some days you may notice exactly how God is working through your talents; other days it may be more behind closed doors and you may not see how your gift is affecting others.
Even if you do not see how your talent is making an impact, it is important to let yourself be used by God because you may never know how you affected someone’s life.
- What is or has been your attitude toward spiritual gifts?
- What would you say are your spiritual gifts? What has led you to this identification of gifts, or how did you discover your gifts? If you are unsure of your spiritual gifts, how can you determine what your gifts are?