WHY? Why does God gift us in the way He does & for what purpose? Often, we are blessed by God so that we can be a blessing to others. The Bible is clear that the spiritual gifts God gives us are for the building up of the body of Christ (1 Peter 4:11). In other words, God wants you to use the gift(s) He gave you in some way for His glory! I really believe this is a stewardship issue. Will we use the gift that God gave us to build His kingdom or ours? To serve our agenda or His? Will the gift lay dormant? Everything a believer does should bring glory to God (Colossians 3:23-24) and God is glorified when we use the gifts He gave us.
Every single Christian, young and old, has a spiritual gift! As I shared in my email yesterday, there can be no sideline sitters in the body of Christ. The fact that God gives ALL believers spiritual gifts means that He wants and expects us to be PLAYERS ON THE FIELD! I often tell our teens that they are not the church of tomorrow, but a vital and important part of God’s church today. On the other end of the spectrum are those who are older and dealing with physical limitations… God is not finished with you yet! Your wisdom and experience is much needed in the body of Christ today. As long as you have breath in your lungs, you have an important part to play!
You are an important part of the team! When we are working together and using the gifts that God gave us, great things can be accomplished for God’s kingdom! There are 53 men on a football team. The QB gets most of the attention because that’s the position that everyone wants to play (they usually make the most money!), but the reality is not everyone can be the QB. For instance, for the QB to do his job successfully, he needs what? A group of guys, very big guys, who block for Him and allow him time to throw the ball to the people who can score. I don’t care how much talent a QB has, if he doesn’t have time to throw the ball he won’t be effective. Plain and simple, he has to depend on others to do their job so he effectively can do his.
This means that each job on the team is important, and for any team to be successful, each person on the team needs to do their job. A missed tackle or block can be the difference between victory or defeat. It’s no different in the body of Christ.
Look at Romans 12:6-8, We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
What happens if the prophets stay silent? What if the servers don’t serve, the givers stop giving, the teachers stop teaching, or the encouragers stay silent? How does that impact our collective witness and effectiveness in reaching our communities with the Gospel? One final thought, can you imagine the chaos there would be if we all had the same gifts? We may all want to be the QB and wish we had a different gift but there is strength in our diverse array of spiritual gifts.
Each gift can be a double-edged sword! There are strengths and weaknesses to each gift. When used for God, they are powerful tools. When used in our flesh, when used after a week of not spending time with God in prayer and the Word, they can become weapons that hurt others or puff us up with pride. I have seen a lot of posts on social media by many well-meaning Christians who are quick to tell you and show you what they are doing for the Lord. BE CAREFUL! For example, if you are serving others during this time and feel under-appreciated you might be tempted to “put it out there” for people to see what you’re doing. Your hope is for affirmation. Motivation is a big deal to God. Prophets, you don’t have to show up to every fight! Some yes. It was Calvin who said, “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw God’s truth attacked and yet remain silent!” Before you post something, think about WHY you are posting it? When you are done with your spiritual gift test, take time to read about your gift and what potentially to be careful of.
Just because you have certain gifts doesn’t mean that the others aren’t important and should totally be neglected! What do I mean by that? You may score low on evangelism. That doesn’t mean that you are excused from sharing the Gospel with your friends and family. When I read the Great Commission in Matthew 28 where Jesus told His disciples and us to go into all the world with His life-changing message, or when Peter says 1 Peter 3:15, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
Notice there are no provisions that say these things only apply to you if you have the gift of evangelism! Teens, If you score low on serving that doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore your parents and not do your chores. God wants all Christians, regardless of our spiritual gifts to give of our finances. The Bible tells us, Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. Proverbs 22:9
The bottom line is this, young and old, it’s all hands on deck! So how do you view yourself? Are you a player or a spectator? There are ministries to plug into and join. There are new ministries to start. There are new believers to be discipled and mentored. There’s a Great Commission to take seriously (Matthew 28:19-20). Life groups are a great way to get plugged in and use the spiritual gifts that God has given you. Ask God what your next step is. It’s time to step out in faith and take that step!
The big picture: Now that I have a better idea of what my spiritual gift is, how can I use it this week to be a blessing to my family, friends and neighbors?
Blessings to you and your family!