Bring your gifts just as you are and put your trust in him.
Psalm 4:5 The Passion Translation
I admit, I like getting gifts. It’s always fun to know that someone took the time to pick out a present just for you. It’s even better when the gift totally lines up with your personality and your interest. But have you ever gotten a gift and weren’t quite sure what it was or much less, how to use it?
Sure the instructions could help some, but what’s really nice is when you get someone who is familiar with that gift to teach you how to use it. But sometimes out of insecurity or pride we choose to “figure it out” for ourselves rather than asking the wiser person. I don’t know about you, but my “figuring out” usually leads to frustration and shelving that gift.
Recently, I have been intrigued with learning more about the purpose and function of spiritual gifts. But instead of diving into the categories and purposes of each gift, I wanted to share with you a few obstacles I’ve had to overcome in pertaining to using my own spiritual gifts that I think could help you.
The first obstacle was pride. When I realized the spiritual gifts God had given me, I didn’t know what a lot of them meant or much less, how to use them — but I wasn’t going to let anyone know that. For the ones I knew about I used them. But the others, I made assumptions as to what they were or if I couldn’t “figure them out” I suppressed them.
I had been given some amazing gifts and instead of asking God what they were for or seeking out resources or asking someone wiser, I hid them. I wanted to look like I already knew it all, therefore I missed understanding and using many of my gifts for a number of years.
The second obstacle was perfectionism. I wouldn’t come right out and say I was a perfectionist with my gifts, but there were far too many times that I refused to operate in my gifts, just because I was fearful that I would get it wrong or use them incorrectly. I didn’t want to look stupid, so I again hid my gifts.
The third obstacle was insecurity. For many years I really didn’t know who I was in Christ and I let shame rule my perspective of myself. I was unsure of Gods affections for me, I knew he loved me but I didn’t know if he liked me. I struggled to see that God could use someone like me to express his love through my gifts, so I suppressed them.
The fourth obstacle was fear. I struggled with the fear of man, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection so I reverted to hiding my gifts, again. (Do you see a pattern?)
The fifth obstacle was comparison. I liken this one to opening a gift at Christmas and then seeing your siblings gift and thinking, “I like their gift better. It’s cooler.” The best decision I’ve made in using my spiritual gifts has been to choose God’s choice for me. He knows me and knows what gifts I operate best in. So I’m not going to obsess over what I don’t have but enjoy what I do have.
God knows you, and the gifts he has given you were customized just for you. He knew what gifts you would operate best in so that you could bring his love and hope into your world. So don’t let obstacles keep you from operating in your gifting.
Sure there’s obstacles, but don’t forget you can jump over them. The good news is, God tells you and I to “bring our gifts just as they are and to trust him with them.” That’s freedom! That’s grace! God doesn’t expect you to know exactly how each gift works, the revealing, familiarizing and learning of the gift is part of the joy He has in giving you gifts.
All God wants is for you and I to come to him with our gifts and humbly ask, “How do I use these?” Don’t try to use your gifts like everyone else, just let Him show you what He has in mind.
So can I ask you, have you shelved any of the gifts God has given you because of an obstacle? If so, would you consider pulling it off the shelf and letting God teach you?
Be blessed ~
If you don’t know what your spiritual gifts are or you want to learn more about what spiritual gifts are I have listed some links that will help.. This is not and exhaustive list, just a few to get you started.