In Christian circles we often talk about ‘spiritual gifts’ – the God-given talents and strengths unique to us. It can be a wonderful exercise to explore and discover what they are, and to seek God’s help in using them as part of our life’s calling and His plan.
The idea of gifts comes from Bible passages such as these:
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (I Corinthians 12:4-6)
“From him [God] the whole body [the church] grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
“…so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us.” (Romans 12:5-6)
It’s a great concept, each of us working together for the common good, using the gifts we’ve been given to bring honour and glory to our God. Living the life of love that God intended us to live, together, and following His calling.
But do you ever feel that your gifts (if in fact you’ve identified them) are more a burden than a blessing? By that I mean that instead of connecting with them and turning them into action, you’re feeling the guilt or annoyance of letting them slide… allowing your life to go in a different direction to what you intended?
Sometimes the Holy Spirit urges us out of such frustrations, and we end up discovering what our heart was yearning for.
And other times we allow Satan to tempt us away from the calling God planted in our hearts.
I think often we miss seeing the ‘gift’ of the season we’re currently in, whether it’s parenthood, full-time employment or school. God can use us wherever we are, and we need not be limited by any period of our life. If God wants us to do something, He will carry out His will while providing for us and our current needs.
But gifts can’t be forced into use. If we don’t recognise that our greatest ‘gift’ is in fact the person of Jesus, the one sent to save us and to walk beside us, guiding us every step of the way… then we won’t desire to explore the will of God. To seek His guidance as to where to place our energies and our love.
May we take His hand first. Then allow Him to give us strategies for moving forward in the gifts and calling only He can plant inside of us. And may we rest – not strive – in the knowledge that He will give us the strength, wisdom and power to carry out His will within the length of our days.