Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 1 Timothy 4:14 (NIV).
What are your gifts? What are the gifts you have that are unique to you, that set you apart? And what are you doing with them? Have you considered that God gave them to you, just for you, just for what He intends for your life? Have you considered that He gave you these gifts so that your words and actions would serve His Kingdom in ways that only you can?
There are over 7 billion people here on the Third Rock, and that means God made over 7 billion unique people, each having unique talents, abilities, interests, and thoughts. I can’t do what you do; you can’t do what I do. That’s the case with all of us. It’s how God made us, and it serves His purposes. My son is a great welder, but I don’t know how to do that. One of my daughters is great at interior design; the other is a great bartender. I don’t know how to do those things. I can write well but perhaps you don’t. Baking cookies, organizing your garage, chopping wood, leading strangers, speaking in public, video gaming: are you interested in these things? You have at least one gift, probably more. God gave them to you so that you might serve the Kingdom by using them. What are you doing about that?
Even more, we like to validate those who have gifts. Ever received an award, or even applause? That’s validation. In the church, we lay hands on people to affirm them, to demonstrate that we want to help channel God’s love into them to bless them. We officiate at ceremonies that designate people as specially blessed; we call these “weddings” and “baptisms” and “funerals.”
Paul’s advice to Timothy is to not neglect his gifts. To use them well in service to the church and to remember that this church – this underground group of persecuted religious rebels, at that time under threat of death by both the religious and political powers – believed those gifts were valuable. Indeed, people foretold that “this young man will” whatever. I don’t know about you but nobody that I know of has ever prophesied about me. If they had, it would have made me think about what was foretold!
This isn’t to guilt you into doing more. I’m betting your doing a lot now, and that you are doing the best you can. Yet if there is something on your heart to do, something about which you’re passionate and isn’t in conflict with the Scriptures but you haven’t acted on it, what are you waiting for? Maybe God is trying to tell you something.
For further reading: 1 Timothy 1:18. Acts 11:30, Acts 6:6, 1 Timothy 4:15
Lord God, thank You for the gifts You give to us. Help us to use them well in service to You.