Posted by: glorifyhim1 | March 28, 2011

“Open Mine!”

Recently I had the privilege of attending a wedding shower for a sweet young couple planning to be married this summer. The fellowship hall where the shower was held was packed when I arrived and the table was laden with gifts. I squeezed my gift in with the others on the gift table, greeted the couple, and found a seat with the other guests. As I waited, I looked at the assortment of gifts on the table – large ones, small ones, gift bags with colorful tissue, meticulously wrapped packages, and even one wrapped in a garbage bag with duct tape. I wondered about the surprises hidden in each package and the givers of each gift. Like a kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait to see what was in each one.    

Finally, it was time to open the gifts. There were oooh’s and aaah’s, happy squeals of delight, and much laughter – especially when the bride-to-be read one gift card addressed to her and “what’s his name.” But as much as I enjoyed watching the couple unwrap their gifts, I found my eyes continually focusing on the package that I had brought that seemed to keep disappearing in the stack of unopened gifts. I thought I can’t wait until they open mine; I want them to see my gift! Each time the hostess moved gifts down the line for the couple to open, my gift seemed to get buried in the stack. Please move mine down to them I thought. I want them to open mine!

Later I thought about how excited I was about sharing my gift with the young couple. I was reminded of a verse in the Bible: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). At the moment of conversion, every believer receives one or more spiritual gifts. Our gifts differ, but they all are to be opened up and used to benefit others. Romans 12:6-8 identifies some of these gifts – prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and showing mercy. These gifts are not natural talents or abilities, but special gifts from God to be used to encourage and benefit others. Yet, sadly, many of us never know what our spiritual gifts really are.

I wonder how God feels when He joyfully distributes these spiritual gifts to new believers. As he hands out gifts of wisdom and knowledge, speaking, serving, and other gifts, does He smile thinking of how the individuals can use these gifts to help one another and to bring honor to Christ? I wonder if he anxiously waits and watches thinking Open it! Open my gift! Does He look forward expectantly to see if we like it and how we’re going to use it? I wonder how He feels when we don’t open His gift but keep burying it under a stack of other interests and pursuits.

Sometimes we may ignore God’s gift because it’s not something we really like. We wish we had received divine wisdom, but instead God gave us an extraordinary ability to help and serve others. Only God knows why He distributes gifts the way He does. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11). But who can know better the gift that is perfect for you than the Creator God who made you?

I was so happy when the couple finally received and opened my gift. Their smiles and thank you’s warmed my heart. I could already envision how they could use it to bring joy to themselves as well as others. I can’t help but think that is the way God feels when we open our spiritual gifts and put them to use. The apostle Paul reminded Timothy to “stir up the gift of God which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6). God wants us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts, then put them to use. Just as the bakeware set I gave the young couple would be of no use left in the box or hidden in a cabinet, neither will our spiritual gifts have any effect if they are not employed to build up others.

If you’re not sure what your spiritual gift is, ask God to show it to you. It has been there ever since you became a believer and you may already be using it. Then again, He may still be watching and waiting for you to open it. Either way, He wants nothing more than for you to know and use the gift He has already given you. I can almost hear Him saying, “See My gift! Open Mine!”

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