The talents and gifts that God has graciously given to us in Christ Jesus are the ways that He has designed us to minister to one another (1 Cor. 12:7) and to proclaim His love to the lost world.
That’s His plan and He’s not slow about it. He’s waiting for the fullness of those who would believe in Jesus to come into relationship with Him, not wanting any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). We’re in His plan and there is no Plan B. These gifts are given by Him so that we would care for one another and to grow up into maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:13). And, seeing that it is God who empowers each gift within us (1 Cor. 12:6b), we run the risk of blocking, even quenching, His work that would bring further fulfillment in our lives and powerful ministry in the lives of others around us. I think that’s something we don’t think of or perhaps more accurately, we don’t care to think about, that when we don’t use our gifts, we cost others a blessing, maybe even the opportunity to know Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying we’re wonderful but His grace is wonderful and He’s worthy of us getting messy in serving others. The scandal of the Corinthian church was that they all wanted the flashy and showy gifts. If you were to ask me what the scandal surrounding the gifts in our time, I would answer like this:
Apathy: Believers don’t care what their gifts are.
Unawareness: Some believers don’t know their gifts, plain and simple.
Negligence: Believers know their gifts but either hide from using them or simply just don’t engage.
Overuse: There is something called the 80/20 principle. It’s the observation that 20% of folks are doing 80% of the work in the church, and risk either overuse or burnout, all the while others sit out. Brothers and sisters, this ought not to be this way (James 3:10b).This isn’t my drumming volunteers for things at the church. You’re just costing yourself a blessing by not serving. If you are part of the 20%, many thanks for serving the Lord and know that He will honor that. If you’re part of the 80%, get moving and be about serving Him!
My friends, our best ability in serving the Lord is our availability to do what He asks of us.