Using Our Good Gifts

Luke 12:48b “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

N1704P23006CIt’s great to ask God for gifts isn’t it? Of course his constant grace and the fact that Ephesians 1:3 tells us God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” makes every Christian a constant recipient of God’s gifts!

But how do use our gifts well is the question. Do we line up our nice assortment of gifts on display for people to ogle over? Do we accept God’s gifts and then selfishly make them into an altar of pride we regularly worship? Or are we aware that all the gifts we ask for and are given (and we all have them!) gives us the responsibility to develop and use them well?

God is not a cruel master by any means. But like the story of the talents in Matthew 25:20, he does seem to expect

we manage well what he gives us.

We don’t need to worry and stress about making mistakes – he’s forgiving and understands our bouts with flightiness and distraction here and there. Yet, we are not off the hook either. As we give our gifts back to God, offering them up to him with thankfulness, desiring wisdom and using them,

God does give us ways to use them well.

Maybe some gifts are for now, others for later. Or maybe he’ll have us use them all simultaneously. Regardless, God doesn’t bless us with gifts not to be used.

Let’s think through our gifts and be persistent in asking God for wisdom and opportunities to use them well. God has great plans, and we have a role in seeing those plans accomplished. Things don’t usually just magically happen. If God gives us a desire to learn a skill and a plan on what to do with it, that doesn’t mean with no effort we will suddenly become a master builder, music virtuoso or foreign language expert. It takes time and work.

So whether it’s characteristics he’s developing in us (patience, generosity, grace, etc.) or relationships, or ministry skills, we need to be humble and open to our role in it. God can and does do miraculous things, but quite often he uses normal means to grow us…classes in leadership, regular practice times to learn a skill, study sessions, encounters with people that stretch our compassion and ability to sacrifice.

Christian life is a team effort, first and foremost between each of us and God. Then, together with our brothers and sisters in the Lord to accomplish all God has planned. May we use our gifts well and may we hear what the faithful servant heard in Matthew 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

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