Friday, March 9, 2018

Sensible gifts

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (2 Timothy 1:7 MSG)

The gifts God gives are truly magnificent - some may try to mimic the true gifts of God, but where there is a true talent given, it shines through. I am not musically inclined, but that didn't keep me from attempting to learn the guitar. Notice, I said I "attempted" to learn that instrument, but to be totally honest here, I strummed a good strum, but somehow couldn't make that instrument 'sing' like others could. I learned the notes, memorized the fingering for some basic chords, and studied lots of hours in an attempt to become proficient. The real crux of the matter is that I wasn't going to learn! I didn't really possess that musical talent that one needs to get 'really good at it'. You just cannot force a gift - it emerges 'naturally' - as though it just fits you like a custom-made glove.

If you have received a gift from God, don't kid yourself into believing it isn't going to be noticed by others - no matter how much you attempt to keep it under wraps, the gift will emerge! I have a mind to see detail, often missed by others, that some think is akin to having a photographic memory. I honestly don't think that is because I have been given better 'insight', but it is just the way God made my mind to work. In a very real sense, this is a gift from God - it is intended to be used in ways that will benefit others. My grandson has an ability to conceptualize something in his mind, taking things discarded by others, and re-inventing them into objects that will meet a need. When he needed a fishing pole holder to place along the pond's edge, he found discarded parts from an old wire rack, an extendable handle (also in the junk pile), and a little ingenuity with the welder. In short order, he had a double rod holder!

It doesn't always have to be a 'gift' as outlined in scripture sometimes referred to as 'ministry' gifts - such as preaching, teaching, administration, service, etc. While all of these are essential to helping us meet, know, and follow Jesus, there are a ton more gifts that some might refer to as 'too practical' to even begin to think of them as 'true gifts'. I think of the woman who has a way of settling down a crying infant with her ability cuddle them, coo reassuringly, and bobble them into submissive calmness. I'm good for about 15 minutes of that and then I want you to come get your baby! I have also watched the extreme patience of the first grade teacher who patiently reminds that daydreaming child of the right way to write the letters in between the lines on the paper. If you don't consider that a gift, give it a whirl and see how much you come to admire the degree of 'vision', 'belief', and 'patience' those teachers have each and every day. They see possibility in your child, create a culture that supports their trying time and time again to get it right, and then praise each effort as though it were 'gold medal' worthy! That is indeed a gift!

Let us now be shy in expressing the gifts God has poured into our lives. They may not seem like much to us, but to the ones on the receiving end of your gift, they are amazing! They may seem a little too 'sensible' to be called 'gifts' in the minds of those who see only the gifts outlined in scripture - those 'ministry gifts' - but there is a time and a place for each gift - sensible gifts used by sensible people. Just sayin!