Gifts

I’ve been ruminating on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and Romans 12:6 collectively these last few days, while working my way through an entire box of ice pops, fanning myself on the couch while my kid watches How to Train your Dragon, Part Two for the twentieth time.  We’re not huge fans of summer over here at the Shannon house, but while the heat brings a certain lethargy of the body, I’ve found that it does the opposite to the creative side of my brain.

I’ve been thinking over particularly what it means to be a part of a “community”, by which I mean the people we’ve grown to love and want to encourage in our sphere of friends- circle seems too flat a word to describe who they are to us.  What our responsibility is to them and to the world at large, concerning our making up different parts of the body and bringing different gifts to the table.  And as things go, I’m afraid I’ve been thinking about it all wrong.

As a creative, my spirit is fed when it is in the “making” process.  That’s when I truly feel connected to Christ.  Whether in word or song or a meal, when I am using those gifts I feel like I’m stepping out into that realm of worship.  I’ve always, then, used this thought to support the idea that I need to be uncompromising in the “truest” representation of myself and my giftings.  This would prevent me from engaging in things that might “compromise” how I viewed myself and my gifting. I’m so self-centered, sometimes.  God has really shown me the last few months what it means to “use my gifts” and how when He told me to use them for His glory, He meant it.  Here are two major things I think He’s shown me the last few months.

1.  He gave me these gifts for OTHERS.  I have an obligation to use my gifts.  I don’t get to choose to overlook a part of my gifting just because I don’t like it or it doesn’t fit in my schedule. I cannot be afraid. I cannot hold back out of fear of failure or embarrassment.  I am part of the body, and just like the foot cannot do what the hand can do, I need to do my part so that it all works together.   This isn’t a choice, it’s a call on my life to rise.

2.  Because these gifts were given to me for His glorification and for others, my gifts have to be TRANSLATABLE.  How can I use my gifts appropriately if no one understands what I’m doing???????? If, as a worship leader I chose only songs that speak to my heart and neglected to include music that I know others value (even though I may not) I am NOT using my gifts appropriately. With gifts come responsibility.  I am responsible for others and how they enter in.  The purpose of my gift is to glorify Him and reach others.  Few will be reached if I don’t use my gifts with them in mind.

Be courageous with your gifts today.  Remind yourself that they weren’t given to you for your connection and enjoyment primarily (although that is not to be excluded).  Seek out new ways to translate your gifts to reach others.   We need each other.  The world needs what you do.

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