Day 22 — September 12, 2018
By Rebecca Sisk
Let’s be honest. We have all probably jumped through a hoop or two at some point to get a free gift. Early in our marriage I made my husband sit through a two-hour time-share sales pitch in Gatlinburg to get two free tickets to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede show. (The show was fabulous, by the way!) I have hosted multiple shows in my home with hopes of receiving the free hostess gift whether it was cookware, jewelry, etc. Who doesn’t love a free gift, right? Well, I wonder how often we stop to think about our spiritual gifts? Do we even know what our spiritual gifts are? If we know what they are, are we using them to further the kingdom?
Rather than thinking about my spiritual giftedness, what often occupies my thoughts is being a mom raising an 8-year-old son. I am continually reminding him that God made him and has good plans for him. I try to point out his strengths as well as his friends’ strengths to help him realize that God makes every person in a unique and special way. I try to draw my son’s attention to those differences in a positive way and help him recognize all kinds of talents and abilities. I also try to remind him that although he may be the fastest runner in his class, someone else may be the best singer, or the most organized, etc. As a parent, I want to draw his focus to the positive traits in others and lead him to appreciate their strengths, as well as his own. I want him to see the beauty in how God uses people in so many different ways, especially to reveal the love of His son Jesus.
Too often though I struggle with that concept myself.
Thoughts such as, “Oh, I wish I could sing like her.” or, “If only I could cook like she does.” or, “Why can’t I pull such a stylish look together?” swirl through my head.
Ugh. Comparison can so quickly become the thief of our joy and distract us from our mission to love God and serve others in His name.
So, maybe I can’t sing a tear inducing solo, or host the best dinner party, or arrive to church without wet hair and no makeup. I must remind myself that the God of the universe created me, loves me, and uses me in different ways. Not only that, but he has equipped me with a spiritual gift. What a gift! What an amazing opportunity to serve Him as never before! My gift may not be to sing a solo or host a Sunday School social in my home, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be used in mighty ways through His power. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10
Every time Mama Bam (my mom) leaves our house to head back north to Pennsylvania, she leaves a gift for Ryan hidden somewhere in her room. He is always so sad when she leaves, but then he remembers to go look for his gift. He runs full tilt into his grandmother’s room with excitement and wonder. He picks up pillows, throws down covers, opens closet doors, etc. He seeks out his gift with passion and excitement. He knows it will be there and he knows it will be for his good.
With our upcoming Equipping and Commissioning Weekend, I pray that we will have that same passion and excitement to seek out the gift that God has given us. I hope that we will pick up our Bibles, throw down our phones, and open the doors of our hearts. I pray that we will run, full tilt, into our Father’s house with excitement and wonder to find the gift He has given us. It will be there and it will be for our good.
We don’t need to sit through time share presentations or host a cooking show in our home. We just need to come as we are and delight ourselves in Him. After all, who doesn’t love a free gift, right? Especially one given from God himself. What an exciting weekend it will be as we discover our spiritual gifts and affirm those gifts in one another!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.