C.S. Lewis stated, “God gives His gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.”
How are we utilizing the gifts we’ve been given? Are we using them for our own personal gain? To get recognized by the people around us? Or we are using our gifts to glorify God?
So, how should we as Christians go about giving our gifts to the Lord?
Well, throughout the Bible; we’ve been called to serve God with our spiritual gifts and one such instance is in the Book of Romans. In Romans 12:4-8, it says, “4. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5. so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7. or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8. he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
As shown within this passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit speaks on this topic and how we as Christians; despite our differences in how we interpret Biblical Scripture, we are all given gifts in order to bring glory to God and not ourselves. This is something that I continue to struggle with, seeing as how I want to use my gifts the way that I feel they should be used and that is seriously prideful of me.
“Despite our differences in how we interpret Biblical Scripture, we are all given gifts in order to bring glory to God and not ourselves.”
In a recent blog post by T.R. Noble of Inside Cup entitled “I Gave God What I Enjoyed & He Gave Me Something Better” she stated that “Every single one of us has been gifted with talents by God, but that does not mean everyone will use it for Him.” I agree with this quote by T.R. because we all have been given gifts by our Heavenly Father and not judging actors, actresses and famous singers but how we use our gifts can show others where our relationship with God really lies.
Our relationship with God in my opinion truly starts with our willingness to give God everything that we have and that includes the gifts/talents that God has given us.
Some of the other quotes within T.R. Noble’s blog post that I feel truly inspired me and prayerfully encourage you in your walk with God are just stepping stones to continue pursuing Christ.
- “What are we pushing off that we don’t think is a big deal?”
- “He taught me so much about what it meant to deny our flesh. It hurts at first, sometimes a lot. It doesn’t mean we’re a bad Christian for having this reaction.”
- “It means we are saying no to our flesh and selfish desires. It means we are denying what is trying to get us to deny Christ.”
- “… we sometimes see only the big temptations we want to get rid of.”
- “Giving up what is not Christlike helps me be an example, it truly draws me closer to Christ and makes my life all about Him. It gives Him glory and He absolutely deserves it!”
- “Is what I am exposing myself to through watching, listening, or even playing, is it truly Christlike, does it stand for what Christ stood for, could it tempt me with deception and sin?”
- “… if anything you watch or listen to does go against Christ please consider how that affects your walk with Him. Even if it seems small… one day a seed becomes a tree. Everything adds up in our life.”
T.R. Noble says, “Is what I am exposing myself to through watching, listening, or even playing, is it truly Christlike, does it stand for what Christ stood for, could it tempt me with deception and sin?”
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NKJV) says, “4. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”
These verses by the Apostle Paul to the people of Corinth should remind us as Christians today that we are given different gifts by our Heavenly Father and that how we utilize these gifts should bring others to Christ and not to satisfy our own egos.
In a recent article I read by Lizzie Milani of Pocket Fuel entitled “Giving and Receiving – The Receive Series – Part 1” and in the article; Lizzie states that “We take and we earn and we strive and we prove. But seldom do we receive. Seldom do we live in the movement of give and receive.”
What is truly interesting about this quote by Lizzie is that I feel that she is right in the sense that despite our desire to live against the culture of the world; we still take, earn and strive to better ourselves and not about the gift of giving to others and maybe receiving nothing but a “Thank You” in return.
In her article, Lizzie Milani has a couple of quotes that I feel we as Christians can relate to as we go about our own walk with Christ and learn what it means to give to the Lord.
- “Giving and receiving is of one piece. It’s not either or. To do one well, you must learn to do the other.”
- “You can’t give what you’re unwilling to receive.”
Lizzie Milani stated, “You can’t give what you’re unwilling to receive”
This actually reminds me of a song by William McDowell entitled “Withholding Nothing.”To me, this song is truly amazing because it captures what it means to surrender everything we have to God: Our gifts/talents, fears, insecurities, weaknesses, and strengths. So, what are we giving to the Lord? Are we giving Him only the things that we want to give Him?
“I surrender all to you
Everything I give to you
As the chorus of the song says, we surrender all that we have and give everything we have to the Lord God. But are we? In today’s culture it’s so easy for us; proclaiming ourselves be Christians to utilize our God-given gifts for monetary or temporary gain. However, this shouldn’t be our desire. What’s truly interesting about this quote is that as Christians; we must be willing to give up that thing that is keeping us from embracing the gifts God is trying to give us.
At the beginning of this post, I did a quote by C.S. Lewis and I do think that it’s important that we allow ourselves to be empty of those things that we don’t need so that our Heavenly Father can fill us up with better things.
“… we must be willing to give up that thing that is keeping us from embracing the gifts God is trying to give us.”
In the end, though what are we really doing in terms of our relationship with God? Are we willing to give God everything? For me, I think it’s about time that I do because I know that if I continue on the way I’m going; it’s not going to end well. Everything we do with the gifts we’ve been given should be done to bring honor and glory to the One who gave us these gifts in the first place.
So, what are you doing with the gifts you’ve been given?
Are we giving our gifts to God?
Are we willing to be empty vessels for the Lord?
T.R. Noble. “What Is My Talent/Gift | Believer 101”, 10 Aug 2017. Nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/what-is-my-talentgift-believer-101/ . Accessed 5 Jun 2019.
“I Gave God What I Enjoyed & He Gave Me Something Better,” 24 Apr 2019, nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/i-gave-god-what-i-enjoyed-he-gave-me-something-better/ . Accessed 6 Jun 2019.
“Withholding nothing – William McDowell”. YouTube, uploaded by enyfo7. 6 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdnV75zIQUA . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.
Dail, Martha. “HOW LONG HALT YE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS?”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/3555664/ . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.
Spurgeon, Charles. “God has a way of giving by the cartloads to those who give away by shovelfuls.”, https://quotefancy.com/quote/786350/Charles-H-Spurgeon-God-has-a-way-of-giving-by-the-cartloads-to-those-who-give-away-by . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.
Unknown. “Romans 12:6 (NKJV)”, https://biblepic.com/romans/12-6.htm . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.