Have you ever received a really nice gift and thought, “I’ll save this for a special occasion,” or “I’ll wear it for a fancy celebration,” or “I’ll use it when the time is right” – and before you know it, you’ve forgotten that you even had the gift? Then a few months later, when you’re walking around with a raggedy high-heeled shoe shooting off sparks behind you or wearing a torn item of clothing, you remember, “Hey – I’ve got a great new pair of shoes and a new outfit nestled in the back of my closet! Why am I going out looking crazy?” Well, that’s happened to me more times than I care to admit! I knew the giver must’ve spent a pretty penny (or at least some time and energy) getting me the “just right” gift and looking forward to me making good use of it…only to find that I tucked it away and failed to maximize the gift’s capacity.
I happen to be rather mindful of this principle because my home was recently broken into. Thankfully, no one in my family was harmed, but some valuable items were taken. Sadly, I must admit those stolen items included one set of jewelry that I wore so seldom (though it was given to me for a significant milestone) that my husband realized it was missing before I did. He GAVE it to me, but I didn’t even realize it was gone. How many times have we been in that situation with valuable gifts God has given us? Additionally, how many of us don’t realize that we are gifts that He has given to be a blessing to others? II Corinthians 4:7 reminds us that we have treasure (something of great worth) in earthen vessels.
No matter what your container looks like, the product inside is precious to God!
Don’t Neglect the Gift Within You
“Do not neglect your gift…”
(I Timothy 4:14, NIV)
Many times, gifts that God Himself has given us lie dormant. We’ve allowed precious treasures He has entrusted to our care and stewardship to be hidden, inactive, and underdeveloped. Often, we don’t really venture outside of our comfort zones until the pressure we’re experiencing becomes almost unbearable. Then, under the weight, we finally yield and say, “Okay God – You win!!!” When a storm comes to shake us out of our grogginess and complacency, we cry out, “Mercy! Please help me, Lord!”
It is imperative that you cultivate, nurture, develop, and mature your gift. If it weren’t important, Timothy’s mentor wouldn’t have admonished him to “stir up the gift of God that is in you” (II Timothy 1:6). Was Timothy lazy, fearful, or just comfortable? Perhaps he just wasn’t operating at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. As a matter of fact, Paul seemed to admonish him to shake off his comfortable contentment with the status quo and stop settling for the mediocre and familiar.
If this sounds like a place where you find yourself, it’s time to give your gifts a wake-up call! Repent, pray for direction, commit to purposeful action, and GET MOVING! Your gift will take you into the arena of greatness (Proverbs 18:16). Be so focused and single-minded in tending to your gift and executing God’s purpose that external influences and distractions cease to matter. I’ll admit that it’s not easy or passive activity. Jude 1:3 admonishes us to “earnestly contend for the faith.” That means it’s going be a press. Sometimes we’ll have to fight; yet, Matthew 11:12 tells us “…the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” I dare say that your destiny is worth fighting for. The purpose of resistance, opposition, and pressure is to propel you toward opportunity – which is cleverly disguised as adversity! Will you polish your gift and seize the opportunity?
What will you do with the door opened by your gift?
The world anticipates your response…and destiny awaits your embrace.
When you unwrap, acknowledge, respect, and appreciate the gift that you are, here’s what can happen:
- You will prosper (Proverbs 17:8)
- You will find yourself in the presence of great people (Proverbs 18:16)
- You will be promoted and elevated (Daniel 2:48)
- You will be able to share your gift with others! (I Peter 4:10)
This holiday season, I encourage you to take a serious inventory of the gifts in your own treasure box. Don’t wait to make “New Year’s Resolutions.” Start NOW – see what valuable things are inside that you have allowed cobwebs and tarnish to cover up. Ask God to help you dust off and polish up your gifts – so HE can get glory from what HE gave you TO USE (not just to hold onto). This holiday season, celebrate the gift God sent us in His Son, and esteem Him by honoring the gift of YOU! Look no further than your mirror to see one of the greatest gifts God has given…YOU!
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
(II Corinthians 9:15)
© Copyright 2008 by Kayren J. Cathcart