I am not going to hold on to my gifts
Here I am operating in my gift of teaching earlier this year at church. Thank you Elder Ron for using your gift of photography to capture this moment.
When I get a gift, I gladly receive it for myself. However this Christmas, I am left to think about my spiritual gifts and why God gave them to me. 1 Corinthians 12:7 clearly spells out that we are all given gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ. Period. He gave us these gifts so that we can give them away so to speak. Give them to build up His body. It is a beautiful thing to watch others purely operate in their gifts. It blesses me. I have grown so much and have been radically transformed as a result of the many gifts that flow through my pastor and his wife. Our praise and worship leader has been gifted with the ability to sing you right into the presence of God, lifting burdens. My good friend is a passionate intercessor and has a husband that is going forward in his gift of teaching. While I have my own gifts, I am not gifted in every way. As a member of the body of Christ, I need all of their gifts. They benefit me and has helped to encourage me to stay on the straight and narrow. We are not independent of each other, when you don’t operate in your gift, it affects me. Don’t be a weak link by not using your gift.
I don’t have to be jealous of your gift nor do you have to be jealous of mine. We are not competing, we compliment each other. All of our gifts are valued and needed for the building up of the church.
Don’t let timidity hold you back from flowing in your gift. Get over yourself. Remember this is not about you. And whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of comparing your gifts to others. Use what God has given you in the way He has given it to you, then and only then will it be effective. You don’t have to be anyone’s carbon copy, that was never God’s intention when He created and gifted you. I am catching a hold of this revelation and let me tell you it’s so liberating. I am seeing God’s power manifest in me at a grater level and in turn others are blessed.
At all cost avoid getting caught up in using your gift to try to show how special and deep you are, again this is not about you. It is not a performance. Don’t let pride pollute and hinder your gift. On the other hand when others make mention of your gift don’t try to dumb it down in an effort to appear humble. I love reading Paul’s epistles because he confidently speaks of how God has gifted him and he gives God all the glory. He doesn’t brag on himself, he brags on God, how about that for a different perspective. Be confident, be bold!
Take time to perfect the gifts God has given you. The best way to do this is by spending time in prayer and the word. Reading other spiritual resources grounded in biblical principles can be helpful but make sure it’s not taking away from you reading the most important book, the bible. In the same vein, speaking to others who have similar gifts is good but don’t let that take the place of speaking to the giver of the gift in prayer.
One of my gifts is teaching. While I have had formal training to be a teacher. More training came in the school of surrender and trials; these two schools have caused my gift to be perfected! When I get up to speak or when I write I am confident that I have something worth hearing. Why? I have made up my mind to be a student of the greatest teacher and submit to His will, even the less than glamorous parts.
You can find a list of some of the gifts in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. What are your gifts? Don’t know? Ask God, He really is not trying to keep it a secret from you. If you do know your gifts, don’t hold on to them, remember they are not for you. Be Blessed!
About the Author
Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.