“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” – 1 Peter 4:10.
Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift, many are given more than one 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. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
That passage suggests that we should not spend all of our time finding out what are gifts are and no time actually using them. If you are not sure what your spiritual gifts are, you may want to take a page from business and go with your strengths.
Chariots of Fire is a great movie. It is the story of Eric Liddell, a missionary to China, who was considered to be the fastest runner in the world coming into the 1924 Olympics in Paris. His sister berated him for leaving God’s work in China to train and run races all over the world. Liddell replied to his sister, I believe God made me fast and that it gives Him pleasure when I run. He won a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics and in Paris gave public testimony to his Christian faith that was reported in media around the world.
Romans 12:6 says “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.” We’re all different, each one of us is unique, and we all need each other. Each one of us is a unique blend of background, personality, natural abilities and spiritual gifts. The problem often starts when we listen to others or we compare ourselves unfavorably with others. We are not as smart or athletic or handy or talented as others. I can’t sing like Kathy, or organize like Rick, or fix things like Samuel, or administrate like Tyler. All those people have more ability than I do so what do I do?
There are things that each of us do well and there are things that each of us do not do well. If we focus on what we can’t do, we won’t get much done. We need to recognize and accept our unique gifts and abilities and put them to work. In other words, stop worrying about what you don’t have, and start using what you do have.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23–24 ESV)
What could you do that is uniquely you? You can do things for Him that no one else can ever do.
- Why is it important not to underestimate our own God-given abilities or focus on what others are doing? How do these attitudes undermine the truth that God has a good future for you?
- What can we do this week to put our God-given abilities to work?