“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).
How often have people received gifts from others they really did not want, but accepted because they didn’t want to appear to be rude? They would accept the gift, smile, say “thank you” and do one of two things when out of the sight of the giver. The gift would find itself in the back of the closet, the basement or a drawer and not see the light of day or was given to someone else at a later time–re-gifted. Usually, this works into a cycle and sometimes–the original gift-giver was often given the gift they had given.
Fortunately, we cannot give the gifts that God gives us to anyone else–no re-gifting here. For the gifts He gives are not physical, but they are spiritual and the Holy Spirit anoints every person whom God has determined to receive a gift (I Corinthians 12:1-11). Each spiritual gift given is for the common good of the whole. Though there may be people who are envious of another’s gifts, they should earnestly seek God about their own gift and work on developing that gift.
Unlike the scarf or tie or sweater that is sent through an evolution of hands, God’s gifts cannot be re-gifted by us nor can we return them or exchange them. And why should we? If we believe that “every gift from God is a perfect gift” we should be overjoyed with what we receive. And then, get this–God knows exactly what gift we will function in to develop the Body of Christ into wholeness where every need is met.
When we either refuse to hone the gifts given, or reject the gifts out-of-hand, we are telling God He doesn’t know what He’s doing. Then, there are some who are so envious of the gifts God has given others that they practice to deceive and then declare they have a gift that they manufactured, but Holy Spirit did not give. We can tell who is operating in their own “manufactured gifts” because that person has attached a dollar sign to perform it. That gift–is manufactured for their benefit, not for the perfecting and development of the Body of Christ.
The beauty of God’s gift-giving is in the fact that no matter how we act–“His gifts and callings are without repentance”–He won’t take them back. What happens when we don’t use the gifts He has given is that we truly miss the blessings that come with “obedience” to God and the Body of Christ has a void that can only be filled with the gift we are not using. We all have a role to play in promoting the Gospel, developing unity, and perfection within the Body of Christ–all of the born-again believers–especially within the local Body. Churches that do not have spiritual gifts operating are usually dull and boring and no one is exalted other than the preacher. They are dry and stagnant, critical and judgmental because they chose not to exercise the gifts given or they manufactured a gift that does not glorify God.
I pray today that all will earnestly seek God for understanding of the Gift they have been given and then will exercise that gift to reach the perfection needed to operate in the Body of Christ to bring wholeness. Our spiritual gifts are like our bodies–if we do not exercise the body, muscles become atrophied and lax and we become weak and lazy. The same thing happens when we do not exercise our good and perfect spiritual gift from God–the Body of Christ becomes weak and lazy.
Father, in the name of Jesus, speak to our hearts and help us to understand the gifts given to us and wisdom in using them. Show us how we are to function in the Body of Christ and ignite desire in us to exercise the gift to the development of perfection to fill the void in the Body of Christ.