Have you ever wistfully looked at a special gift or talent that someone else has and wished that God had given you that gift? Guilty. Each of us has been given a special gift or talent from God. One of life’s greatest challenges is to discover what it is… and then use it for Him. To bring honour and glory to God. Are you aware of yours? Are you using it for Him? Or are you too busy looking at someone else’s gift?
For too long, I had no appreciation – or understanding even – of the unique gifts that God had given me because I was too busy wishing for other people’s gifts. Look at that. My, how I wish I could do that. And in looking at their gifts, it is all too easy to lose sight of loving the people who were given those gifts. And my own special gift lay deep inside me. Unrecognised. Undeveloped. The things I could do well, I just dismissed and assumed that everybody could do that. At first, I didn’t even recognise things I could do well as gifts. :o
Have you ever been there?
Things I have learnt about God’s special gifts
- They are a true gift from God.
- We can’t pick them.
- There is nothing we can do to get them or earn them. The gifts are NOT ours. He gives them to us and could just as easily take them away from us. Like ornaments on a Christmas tree, they are something that can be put ON to the tree, and something that can be taken OFF the tree. They are not FRUIT, which grows ON the tree and is part of the tree (and that is a gift from God too!). So we cannot take any of the credit.
- Gifts come raw and have to be developed. As we begin to use them, surprisingly, the gift actually grows. You get better and better at it. And that is often where we are tempted to take the credit and just as Deuteronomy 8 warns, think that WE have done it. :o
- The area of our gifts is very often the area that the enemy uses to crush and destroy us. He is desperate to stop God’s jigsaw puzzle of gifts.
- When we use our gifts as God intends – and give them away to others to build up the body of Christ – it leaves us feeling contented and fulfilled.
I finally got the message and in starting to find and develop my real gift, I also discovered that it was something I really enjoyed doing and could quite happily do it all day long. One eye is no longer watching the clock. Time passes in a blur. And you know, the funny thing is… those other gifts I had so wistfully looked at…? If God had somehow answered my yearning and given them to me, I WOULD HAVE BEEN MISERABLE. They were just NOT me.
They were someone else’s gifts.
In her book, No Hands But Ours, Jennifer Rees Larcombe tells the story of a minister called Eric. One Sunday, Eric challenged his congregation with finding their special gift and using it for the Lord. Next morning, he received a visit from a distressed and despondent widow. She had been unable to sleep that night, wondering what ‘her special gift’ could possibly be and had come up with a great – big – blank [as I had for so long]. He advised her to talk to God about it and to ask Him to reveal her gift, then promised to visit her in a week and find out what God had told her. A week later when he called in to visit, she looked miserable. The only word that had come to her mind when she had talked to God about it was…
She didn’t think that could have been God.
On the way there, the minister had visited with a couple who were both sick. He had left them feeling quite hopeless. They received one meal a day through the local ‘meals-on-wheels’ program, but some hot, nourishing soup in the evening would be just perfect for them. And what’s more, they lived right on the widow’s street.
The widow smiled.
She had always liked cooking.
Since she had been on her own, there hadn’t seemed to be much point.
Fast forward several years… once again, Eric was preaching about gifts. There, sitting before him, was the widow; the couple in their wheelchairs who were sick that he had visited so long before – both of whom had since come to Christ; and various other people who had come to be there through one insignificant woman’s seemingly insignificant gift…
(Among other things).
So let’s recap. Each of us has been given a special gift or talent from God that He wants to use. One of life’s greatest challenges is to discover what it is… AND then use it for Him… all the while continually giving it back to Him. There is nothing we have done to deserve it or earn it. It is truly a gift from Him. To bring glory and honour to Him.
Are you aware of your gift?
Are you using it for Him?
When our lives belong to God, all of our experiences – both good and bad – can be used by God as gifts for others. Don’t waste your time looking at someone else’s gift. It’s not a competition. All of our separate gifts are designed to complement and bless each other. It’s like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. Even if our piece looks insignificant, a little inferior or even a bit like someone else’s… it is not.
It is unique.
YOU are unique! :)
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us… Romans 12: 5-6
Wherefore he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men… For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4: 8,12
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?… And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you… 1 Corinthians 12
THINK SPOT: Have you encouraged your sponsored child to ask God to reveal their special gift and then to use it for Him? I did this with my kids and just recently received a really lovely reply from Dhori (India). She said that her special gift that God had given her was to love her brothers and sisters. Isn’t that beautiful?! And the greatest of these is love… what an incredible gift!
And when you write to your sponsored child, don’t forget… :)
If you wish, you can download the free printable Bible verse poster / verse card (shown above) with the Bible verse from Ephesians 4. Just fit to A4 or 4×6 when you print ~ and if you wish, laminate it to keep it looking nice. Make it a special reminder for your child to treasure. And even if you write to your sponsored child online, remember that it can also be uploaded as a normal photo. :)
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