Have you ever been so excited to use your spiritual gift that you freely shared it with someone in need? Someone Jesus pointed out and said, “Hey, So-and-so needs you to bless them.”
Yet your gift of hospitality, wisdom, or prophecy didn’t seem to go over so well with the person you ministered to.
Discouraging, isn’t it?
Tim’s mistake …
Tim couldn’t believe it! He felt on top of the world as he flew down Hwy 101 in the new Mustang his parents had given him for graduation.
He felt free. Alive. And ready to conquer the world.
What a cool gift! Now he could drive his car-less friends to the beach or even to work. Hey! … He had new responsibilities with this gift. His friend’s needs were important.
Tim soon learned how to strategically park his car so no one would ding it with their car door by parking too close to him. Too bad if it took up two parking spaces, his gift was special.
Of course, he bumped some guys from his friends-to-help-with-a-car-ride list after they’d been inconsiderate of his car rules. Forget to wash the sand off your boogie board and that was the last time you rode with Tim.
Yes … Tim had a gift, but he still had a lot to learn about using his gift responsibly.
A gift or a specialness badge?
You’ve probably been like Tim at sometime or another. Perhaps when you first discovered God had given you a spiritual gift or after many years of using it and getting a little too overconfident with it. (Been there … done that.)
What spiritual gift has the Holy Spirit given you? Is it the gift of hospitality? Encouragement? Leadership? Wisdom? Insight?
Are people healed when you pray for them? What about prophecy or great faith? Or helping the poor, sharing your wealth, or showing mercy (see Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:7-11)?
You have a gift.
But that gift isn’t a badge of specialness in God’s kingdom. We’re all special, and we don’t need to wear specialness badges.
So use your spiritual gift! Give it away! Don’t wear it like a badge.
Adapt your spiritual gift to a person and their situation
Like Tim, you get to learn how to be responsible with the spiritual gift God put within you.
That means you have to learn to use your unique gift in a way that helps others.
And in a manner that adapts your gift to different people’s personalities and situations.
If you miss this little adapting tip, you’ll end up causing confusion or even hurt feelings.
Tim couldn’t adapt his car-gift to the reality of giving his friends a ride home from the beach—he resented the sand they left in the car.
Tim was wearing his specialness badge and expecting his friends to adapt to his gift rather than adapt his gift to the needs of his friends.
- Do you “do” hospitality in a style that makes your guests feel relaxed?
- Do you minister in wisdom or prophecy in way that puts the recipient at ease? Do you ever ask the recipient for feedback by saying something like, “Does this sound like Jesus to you?”
- Such questions allow you to learn from the experience and allow the recipient to reject your input comfortably if needed. (If so, don’t get your feathers ruffled. Feed-back is how you fine-tune your gift.)
Write your spiritual legacy on God’s heart
You want the recipients of your gift to feel closer to Jesus.
- When you express your gift poorly, it pushes people away from Jesus … and you.
- When you communicate your gift rightly, a person will go away feeling closer to God.
The person might never remember you or your name, but that’s OK. It’s not about you. Your gift is all about bringing people into intimacy with Jesus.
And that’s one more way to build your spiritual legacy. Because it’s not so much about what people remember about you … it’s what they remember about Jesus.
God loves that.
If you aren’t writing your legacy on God’s heart, then you don’t have a spiritual legacy.
So … what do you think? Have you ever experienced this … either by expressing your gift the wrong way or by being the recipient of a gift expressed poorly?
Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.
Catch you later,
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but, you know, … all of your friends would be nice.