Embrace Your Own Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:14-19 For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

We all have different gifts.  Spiritual gifts and natural gifts.  God made us this way on purpose.  As it says in the above passage if we were all one member where would the body be?  We need each other and we need each others gifts.  Natural and spiritual.

In the natural there are multitudes of things people can be gifted with.  Things to do with their jobs, natural talents or abilities or the gift of bringing people together.  More gifts than we could think of.  In our circles of influence and families we see many different gifts at work.

You may be a planner.  Someone who loves details, lists and planning ahead.  I have a few of those in my circle.  I’m not one of them!  I am more a spontaneous person.  But I truly appreciate and admire their gift.  Often times the things that I don’t think of, they do. Or vice versa.  Other people have vision.  They can look at a situation from all different sides and be able to tell what will work.  Some  may be gifted, like certain ones I know, to handle angry and demanding customers; while the rest of us might be inclined to give them a piece of our mind or a punch in their nose.

That’s why we may have said or had someone say to us, I could never do what you do.  And they would be right. If God calls us to do something he gives us the gifts we need to do it.  If that is not what God has called us to do, then we would not necessarily be equipped or have any desire to do what they are doing.

We need to be able to appreciate each others gifts without feeling like we are lacking somehow if we don’t have the same gift.  We can fall into the trap of comparing ourselves and our gifts to others.  There are a couple ways that can work.  Either we look at others and think wow, I could never do that.  I’m not as good as them, or as spiritual as them. Or, we look at ourselves and the things we are gifted to do and wonder what on earth is wrong with these people that they can’t do what we do or see what we see.  Both ways are wrong.

If you fall into either of those categories, as I occasionally do, can I be honest?  Who on earth do we think we are?  God gives us His gifts so that He would be glorified.  Its not about us.  As it says in 1 Peter 4:10-11  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

God should get all the glory from our using whatever gifts He has given to us.

What is important is that we recognize our gifts are from God, and; that we use them.  They are not anything we got all on our own.  Sure, in the natural, if you are a star athlete or musician you may have put in countless hours of practice but your talent was still a gift from God.  He expects us to use the gifts that we are given.  Not to hide our light under a bushel.

Your gift is not better than mine nor is mine better than yours.  The Lord knows the end from the beginning.  He knows the things He has for you to do and He has gifted you accordingly.

I have a friend who feels that she does not do great exploits for the Lord. She doesn’t get out of the house much and spends much time alone.  But I tell you what.  She is an intercessor, and an exhorter and an encourager.  I’m sure there are a lot of people out there today, many she has never even met, that are able to do their part for the Lord because of the part she has played in praying for them.  She has an important part in the body.

We don’t always know what part we may play in someones life. You may have the gift to be an encourager.  That smile that you gave someone today or that hug or encouraging word may have been an answer to their hearts prayer. Or the time you spent just listening to them pour their heart out.  It might have been the thing that encouraged them to keep going for another day.  The ripples in the pond of eternity from a simple act of kindness might be something that could change someone’s life forever.  Wouldn’t that be just as important to the Lord as someone feeding the poor or preaching a great sermon?  We all have a part to play in the Body of Christ.

Romans 12:4-8 :For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,  so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;  or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;  he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

We will always need each other and each others gifts. Maybe you have a desire to do more for the Lord.  Just because you have only been using certain gifts doesn’t mean that you will never have any new gifts to use from the Lord.  In 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 we are told to desire spiritual gifts.  If we couldn’t have them the Lord wouldn’t ask us to desire them.  If we are faithful and obedient to use the gifts that we know He has given us, then He will give us more.  In the gospels in the parable of the talents Jesus teaches, that to those who have been faithful in the little things they will be rulers over much.

When we are all in the place we are supposed to be, then, the gifts He gives us and the way He uses each of us, will look different from person to person.  That’s a good thing.  That’s when the body will be fit together as one.  Ephesians 4:16  He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.  As we each do our part it helps others to grow and do their part.

If you are unsure of what gifts the Lord has placed in you, ask Him to show you.  Then thank Him for your gifts and be diligent to use them. Appreciate the gifts of others and your own as well.  You are unlike anyone who has ever come before. The Lord has plans to use you and your gifts if you are willing to do your part!

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