One of the items that suffers a quick destruction on Christmas morning or at birthday parties is the wrapping paper. The gift recipient rips the paper from the present to see what is hidden underneath the wrapping. And then the paper is discarded in multiple directions. For those of us who have seen many Christmas mornings, there is a distinct difference between the tearing of copy paper and the sound of wrapping paper being torn.
Of course, there are those who meticulously finds the tape holding the paper together, and they carefully remove the tape. When all the pieces of tape have been removed, the wrapping paper is gingerly unfolded from the gift, then re-folded and laid to the side – almost ceremoniously! The paper almost seems to be part of the gift itself! I’m not this person!!
Regardless of the fashion of unwrapping, there isn’t a gift remaining under the tree or in the stack of birthday presents left unwrapped. It would be unthinkable to suggest we NOT unwrap our presents, right?
Call me crazy, but why do we do exactly this with our spiritual gifts? We receive the most precious of gifts from our Heavenly Father when we give our lives to Christ; sort of a “rebirth day” present. The gift we receive has been carefully picked just for us by the Father for the purpose of building up the Bride of Christ – the church. But imagine if we don’t use our gifts in the manner they were intended? After all, they didn’t come with written instructions!
God wants the church to function as a healthy body, with all the body parts doing their part. For the last several weeks, my arm has been in a sling following shoulder surgery. My good arm had to pick up the slack and try to perform tasks normally accomplished by the arm in the sling. Even though I’ve tried as hard as I can, there are some tasks only my sling arm can do. Members of the body of Christ are no different.
When we exercise our gifts given by God, we fit into the body of Christ perfectly. While others may try to pick up the slack when we don’t use our gifts, they can never be a complete replacement for us. Remember, our gifts were specially chosen by God and given to us. No one has a gift exactly like ours.
A thriving, healthy, growing church is one who recognizes individuals and their gifts. But most importantly, individuals recognize their own gifts and are compelled by the Holy Spirit to put them to use.
Do you want to bring glory to Christ and honor the giver of our spiritual gifts? The best way is to find a place in your local church and open your gift. If you really feel God led you to your church, He had a reason for it! Bless Him by blessing others!