8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Interesting isn’t it? I am mesmerized by the beauty of this abstract light art. The golden rays bend across the darkness to cast beautiful pieces of art. It is almost as if the prisms are attracted to the darkness. The camera catches the bends and arcs through a gorgeous distortion of perception. You can get lost in this for days. Yet, I offer this abstract piece of light art as a discussion tool into how Satan distorts our beautiful art as well.
I find it very interesting [without digging into Biblical commentaries and other scholarly articles], that the apostle Paul emphasized the utilization of these spiritual gifts. In essence, Paul is saying two things:
- Do not become complacent thereby underutilizing your special gifts.
- Do not allow Satan to distort your strengths/gifts for his purpose.
Honestly, if you are not using your gifts for building God’s kingdom, then you most certainly fall into one of these two categories. God has bestowed such goodness upon His children. He has not only designed but also personally tailored special spiritual gifts for each of His children. There are many of you who are underutilizing your gifts, why? Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal such answers.
There are also times in our lives where we allow Satan to distort our gifts for his purpose. As stated in the passage above, we are instructed to “go all out” when utilizing our spiritual gifts. There is no room for half-effort. Yet, what does it look like when Satan takes our strongest gifts and turns them around?
For those who are givers [like me], this looks like pride and selfishness. During different seasons of our lives, we may say to ourselves, “I’m tired of giving because no one notices or even thanks me—so I quit!” YIKES! This is a great example of Satan taking your spiritual gift and using it for his purpose.
What about those who are given leadership abilities? The passage says to “take it seriously.” Let that soak in for a minute! Are you tired of leading? Rebuke the lies from the devil and lead firmly for the Lord as He directs. Yes, there are definitely times when we are called to be “support staff”; however, when you are called to lead, do so cheerfully and seriously.
What about our believers who are gifted in showing great kindness? This passage says to do it gladly. Do we need to be reminded to show kindness? Honestly-yes. We ALL DO! This applies to every single one of us. There are too many times in a day when our flesh “messes up” a good thing. The struggle is real, I know! What happens when your food order is completely messed up yet you already paid? What does it look like when someone interrupts you continuously? What does it feel like when someone starts to get on your very last nerve? Ah…kindness or entitlement?
Question: What are your gifts? How are you utilizing them…for the Kingdom or for Satan’s purpose?