“Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”
– 1 Timothy 4:14-15 NKJV
It is common knowledge that working out keeps one fit and helps to build muscle. In fact, experts agree that for you to see significant muscle development, not only must your exercise be consistent, but it must also be challenging and continued. These same principles of muscle development and exercise can be applied to spiritual gifts.
Throughout this month, we have discussed the importance of not keeping our gifts to ourselves, but to use them in service of others in the Body. We learnt that one of the ways to exercise your gifts is to actually put them to use. Our anchor text buttresses this point.
Here, we see Paul the Apostle charge his mentee, Timothy, to cherish and look after the gift of God that was in Him. From this sentence, we can safely deduce that there is a way to handle spiritual gifts. If you will grow in the gifts you have received by the Spirit of God, you must learn to exercise them! They are not to be neglected or left to lie fallow.
Jesus’ Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 teaches some valuable lessons that are applicable here. The first is that God has expectations of you where the gifts He bestowed on you are concerned, and so He will hold you accountable.
Secondly, God wants you to grow! He didn’t deposit those gifts in you just for them to sit there unused. He wants you to unwrap your gifts and begin to use them.
Like working out or building muscle, growing in your gifts is not automatic. It requires consistency, diligence, and time. You get the measure of effort you put into it. Neglecting your spiritual gifts means disobeying God’s Word, and also denying your siblings in Christ an expression of God. You would also be missing out on opportunities to develop your gift.
The way to properly steward your gifts is to put them to use (1 Peter 4:10). Whenever there is a need around you, you ought to boldly and joyfully step up to the plate.
Finally, doubt and fear must never be allowed to hinder you from using your gift. Many times, it is not that you don’t have the gift, but that you just need to grow in it. And to grow, you must put into service.
So, if you laid hands on someone yesterday and “nothing happened,” go again today! Be conscious of the power of God that is at work in you.
SAY THIS: I won’t bury my talents in the ground. I won’t waste my gifts. Instead, I will steward them as a good and faithful servant.
Bible Reading Plan: Numbers 24 – 26