Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gifts Overflowing

When a believer withholds his or her God-given ability, the entire body suffers. --Len Woods, "Myths About Gifts",
Besides filling our cup with blessings and refreshing living water, God fills our cups with Spiritual Gifts and Talents and He expects us to let this overflow into our lives as well.  Every single believer has been given a gift. What saddens me, however, is how many people are unaware what their gift is or that they even have one! When they are told to put their gifts to use for God's kingdom they feel frustrated and discouraged because they don't know what it is they are supposed to be doing! Let's face it, we live in a world of business, travel, shopping, and social media. This is not the type of lifestyle that is going to awaken one to his/her spiritual gifts! If we are honest, it starts young! Public school does not create an environment to cultivate individuality and spiritual gifts in our children. It "socializes" them and encourages them to all learn and behave alike - when we are clearly all different. Even our churches today don't do a whole lot. I'm getting real here, sisters! Can spending a maximum of 3-4 hours a week (out of 168 hours - that's less than 2% of our week!!) really develop the necessary tools to discover and develop a spiritual gift? All of this means that it is up to you. You must spend time in God's word and discover how he has made you and then be intentional about seeking ways to use this gift.

Many women don't know what their gift is because they don't see it as a gift. This was me. My gifts are clearly, if you ask anyone, organization and faith. When someone would point this out to me, I would laugh. I thought it was obvious to anyone that these were not spiritual gifts. Yet, as God has led me down the path of life, I have found that those are spiritual gifts. My husband is the opposite of organized, so in his position of Youth Minister he needs my organization. He is great at ministering to the kids and the families and doing all of the up-front of the ministry, but my organizational gifts keep the ministry turning and flowing on a progressive track. When I took a Spiritual Gifts Inventory at our church, my highest was faith. I had to ask a lot of people about this one. What I discovered was that not every believer is "unshakable" in their faith as I thought all believers were. It is true, there is nothing that would cause me to doubt my God. Years of experiencing His faithfulness have only strengthened this faith (see My Story). So how do I use that? I am doing it now! I simply share that faith. I give others the examples of His faithfulness that I have had in my life; I encourage them by His promises in the Scripture; I give them the assurance that they will come out the other side of their valley!

Please know that I am not bragging (only on my incredible God)! I am trying to help you understand that you may have wonderful, useful gifts that you may not be using because you do not see them as gifts! I have a friend that is an encourager. That is her gift. I received an encouraging message from her yesterday! People like my girlfriend bring life and joy to the body of Christ. It fills our cup! When we are encouraged by these gifted individuals, we gain the motivation to continue using our gifts. We all must discover and use our gifts for a healthy Spiritual Body of Christ.

The problem with not using them is, as the quote above reflected, we all suffer.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. --1 Corinthians 12:26-27
I encourage you today to let God reveal to you your gift. Don't laugh it off or down-size its importance when He does reveal it. Seek out the ways that you can use your gift. Let it overflow into your life!

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