“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-5
Detrick Bonhoeffer, a great Christian who was killed by the Nazis for speaking out against Hitler, once said: “In a Christian community, everything depends on whether each individual is an indispensable link in the chain. The chain is unbreakable only when even the smallest link holds tightly with the others. A community that allows to exist within itself members who do nothing will be destroyed by them. Thus, it is a good idea that all members receive a definite task to perform for the community so that they may know in times of doubt that they too are not useless and incapable of doing anything. Every Christian community must know that not only do the weak need the strong but also the strong cannot exist without the weak.”
What good is an unopened gift? It does not matter how much the giver spends on the gift, how much care he puts in selecting it, or how beautifully he wraps it up, it is all wasted time, money, and effort if the gift remains unopened. Or, what if the recipient opens the gift, but puts it on a shelf and never uses it? In both cases, the recipient of the gift has squandered the generosity of the giver.
The same is true of spiritual gifts. The grace of God has been manifested in every follower of Christ in the form of various gifts. While our individual gifts will vary, God has made us all unique so that we can serve within His Body, the Church. There are far too many Christians who are not using the gifts that God has entrusted to them. Perhaps many think that not serving or using their gifts and abilities is not that big of a deal. But that is not true; it is a very big deal. Just like Detrick Bonhoeffer pointed out, the Christian community within local churches cannot be healthy if its individual members are not serving as God has commanded.
How are you using your spiritual gifts? How are you using the talents and abilities that God has entrusted to you? God made you the way you are for a purpose. He receives glory when you serve others in His Name. If you are a believer and are not a member of a local church, you need to find a church to commit to and serve. This is for your good as well as for the good of the Christian community. God did not save us to sit and soak; He saved us to be filled to overflowing. He pours in so that we can pour out.
There is nothing more fulfilling than serving in the power of the Holy Spirit. Have you opened your God-given gifts? If so, are you using them, or are they on a shelf collecting dust?
Jesus, Thank You for the gifts You have given me through Your Spirit. I know that You have saved me to be a strong link in the chain of Your people. Help me to wisely use the gifts You have given me for Your glory. In Your name I pray, Amen.