What have you been doing lately with the gifts God has given you?
When we commit to following the Lord, He will equip us with what we need for completing our purpose on earth, our will according to what He has prepared for us. In other words, He equips those He calls. This can be in the forms of spiritual gifts. Romans 12:6-8 says, “We have difference gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (NIV).
I think it’s great that God would choose to give a human a gift that not everyone has or will have. I have often wondered why, we weak humans deserve a gift or a spiritual gift for that matter. But, it is all about God. It is all about furthering the kingdom. Not using our gifts for the glory of God is a waste. We are wasting our gifts, we are wasting our time, we are holding back on so much more that God could do. Why do we hesitate or refuse to take advantage of this?
Recently, the Lord led me to the parable of the talents since I have lately been frustrated with myself and people around me not taking advantage of our gifts. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shares about three men who were each given talents: one was given five, the other was given two, and the third was given one. The first person put his money into good use and came out with more. So did the second one. But the third buried his one talent. Now, one might think that the third man was doing a smart choice by saving his talent or keeping it safe. But according to the master of these three men, his response to the third man’s actions was this: ”’You, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well, then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest”’ (v. 26-27, NIV).
Harsh words…but true. For example, if I, having the gift of encouragement and knowing that a few of my coworkers are in need of encouraging words yet I wait until the next day to tell them…or the next day…or the next day… Or if God gave me the gift of music but I choose to use that music for entertainment and not worship knowing that the Lord wants me to pursue worship… I’m not really using the “talent” that was given to me. It would have been better if my master never gave it to me in the first place if I wasn’t going to use it or use it wisely.
I know that fear, doubt, any human response can keep us from glorifying God and furthering His kingdom. But, we have the means to do what the Lord wants. So why can’t we do it? Do we think too much of ourselves when we hide our gifts? What if I make a mistake? What if God takes away my gift? What if I fail? What if I don’t like my gift? It sounds to me like we sometimes try to do what we want with something that doesn’t belong to us in the first place. Would it be better if the Lord doesn’t give us gifts at all? No. The Lord knows what He is doing. And I have the desire to do what He wants. I want to hear the words the master said to the first two men, ”’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”’ (Matthew 25: 21, 23, NIV)