How do you use your gifts?
1 Tim 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (Bible Gateway NIV)
I heard a story of a young woman who had a niece she adored. Although the young woman did not have much money, she bought the niece a bicycle for her birthday. Her niece was thrilled and the young woman was grateful she could give such a nice gift. The next time she visited, the once shiny bicycle was laying out in the rain. It was dirty, the edges of the fenders bent and showing signs of rust. The young woman was devastated. How could her niece treat this gift so carelessly? The young woman said nothing. She prayed that God would help her niece understand how to care for the things she receives as gifts. Instead, God showed the young woman that once a gift is given, it is no longer yours. You must let it go.
But the even deeper lesson God shared with her was that we each receive gifts from God. Some of us treasure the gifts, setting them on a shelf so that they will be honored, but not used. Others do not like the gifts they received, wishing instead they had different gifts. But then there are the ones who are so grateful God has given them a gift that they use that gift to the fullest extent possible.
May each of us be the person who uses his or her gift(s) to the building up of the body and the growth of the kingdom.
PRAYER: Gracious God, may each of us treasure the gifts you have given us, but may we also use them and in using them may the body of Christ be strengthened and enlarged. Amen