If someone gave you a gift, wouldn’t you want to open it?
I am ashamed to admit that I have found gift cards in drawers unused an embarrassing amount of time after first receiving them. By not opening or using the gits, I expressed my lack of appreciation for them.
There can be no joy in experiencing a gift without its proper appreciation and use. This simple principle of receiving and using gifts can be applied spiritually. Ephesians 4:8 tells us that Jesus gave gifts to His children when he ascended into Heaven post His resurrection. These gifts are meant to be used and cherished by building up the body of Christ. Oh, what a joy it is to bless a brother or sister in the Lord!
When we gave our lives to Christ, we were baptized into the family of God through the Holy Spirit. In additional to passing from death to life, we also received at least one spiritual gift. 1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4, and Romans 12 all give insight into the different spiritual gifts such as faith, service, teaching, exhorting (encouragement), leading and generosity to just name a few.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)
1 Peter 4:10 instructs us to use our spiritual gifts to serve others. Unfortunately, I viewed the use of my spiritual gifts as something only to be done in a church setting until the Lord drew me into total surrender through a trial that broke me. Praise the Lord, when He prunes His children, He always reaps a harvest. My newfound surrender resulted in me asking the Lord to use me in every aspect of my life for His glory and He answered.
A couple of my spiritual gifts are faith and exhorting. I was given an opportunity at work during an all employee meeting to share what Black History meant to me, as well as who I am personally. I was led by the Spirit to use that opportunity to share my identity in Christ as well as the forgiveness I have from God due to my relationship with Jesus. God used my gifting of boldness and faith as well as encouragement—at work no less! The greatest reward was the outpouring of other believers at work that were blessed, encouraged, strengthened and emboldened to live their faith out on the job from my public testimony.
I know how much joy it brings me to see gifts I have given my children light up their faces as they open them and then use them. I know our Heavenly Father also rejoices to see His children use and experience the gifts He has given us to serve the body of Christ for His glory. I pray the Lord gently reminds you of your gifting and provides numerous opportunities for you to exercise them for the benefits of the body and for your personal joy.
Marcus Robinson serves on the Crossroads Career Board and is a National Vice President of Sales for UnitedHealthcare’s ACA or individual exchange business. He is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion executive council and a culture facilitator at UHC. He lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and three children.