Romans 12:6-8 (ESV) — Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
One of the things that frustrates me about Christmas presents is that we often give and receive gifts that don’t get used. Have you ever received gifts that sat unused? It frustrates me as a dad when my kids ask repeatedly for something, but then never play with it or use it.
Our passage today is about spiritual gifts. Paul says that our spiritual gifts are given to us by God as a grace. Some are gifted in serving, others in faith, some teaching, and others as leaders. There are sorts of gifts that God distributes to His people for the purpose of edifying His church.
But why does God give these gifts to us? Look again at what the text says: “Let us use them.” They are given to be used. God does not give us spiritual gifts so they can lay dormant and unused. It is a travesty if we waste our gifts by inaction. Our faithfulness is not based on what kind of gift we have received, or how strong our gifts are, but on whether we use them or not.
I did not know what my spiritual gifts were until I got involved as a young man in my local church. I started teaching preschool kids and learned I had the ability to teach. Then as I got more involved, I discovered I had leadership gifts. These things surfaced as I got involved. Faithfulness requires me to continue using them.
When we use our spiritual gifts in the church, other believers grow spiritually and are helped by them. We grow when we use our gifts. We cannot expect to grow in spiritual maturity if we are not utilizing the gifts God has given us at our conversion. Discover your spiritual gifts, then seek to use them for the glory of God and the good of others.
Reflection & Journal:
Have you discovered what your spiritual gifts are?
What are some examples of how you can use your gifts?
Why do you think many professing Christians don’t use their spiritual gifts?