by Neil Anderson
Using our Gifts And Talents
1 Corinthians 12:7
To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good
After I taught a class on spiritual gifts, a young man came to me and asked, "Is my gift prophecy or exhortation?"
Knowing him very well, I was careful as I responded, "I don't think either one is your gift. But if I have ever known someone who has the gift of helps, you're it. You're sensitive to the needs of other people and always ready to help."
A look of disappointment came over his face. "I knew it!" he responded. Struggling with a low self-image, he was pursuing what he wrongly perceived to be a greater gift. You will never be fulfilled trying to become something you are not.
God hasn't distributed gifts and talents equally, and for that reason alone we can be assured that our sense of self-worth isn't to be based on what we do. Our self-acceptance comes from our identity in Christ and our growth in character. Show me someone who understands who he is as a child of God and whose character exemplifies the fruit of the Spirit, and I will show you someone with a healthy self-image.
Every child of God has the same identity in Christ and opportunity to grow. When our identity is firmly established and we have matured to the point where the fruit of the Spirit is evident, we will feel fulfilled when we use our gifts and talents to edify others.
God has known us from the foundation of the world. He has entrusted us with certain life endowments. He will certainly lead us in a way that makes use of our gifts and talents. It is our responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity as it arrives. Tragically, many people go to the grave with their music still in them, never contributing to the symphony of God's work. They never realize their potential nor taken the risks that faith
requires. They hang onto the security of the tree trunk, but the fruit is always on the end of the limb.
Lord, I don't want to go to the grave without having accomplished my purpose. Use my gifts and talents to glorify You and edify others today.
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