Last week I posed the question, “What would be your response if you carefully selected a gift and presented it to someone dear only to have him or her leave it wrapped?” I pray that you were able to meditate upon the suggested principles along with the definitions of the Spiritual Gifts.This week let’s expand our study as we consider the question, “What is the benefit of prayerfully using your Spiritual Gifts to their maximum potential?”
The cultivation of our Spiritual Gifts should begin in our homes and then flow to our churches, then other ministries.We always want to remember that the “Excellent Woman of Proverbs 31:10-31 first “looked well to the ways of her household (31:27). Let me encourage you to focus first on your home and then allow our gracious heavenly Father to “expand your borders.”
Most often, when you excel, the whole Body benefits, and you experience incredible fulfillment—if you are exercising them in a spirit of humility (Romans 12:3). However, if you compare, force, or entertain expectations that are beyond your God-given capabilities, mediocrity, frustration, phoniness, or total defeat is generally predictable. So, relax and enjoy using your Spiritual Gifts! Ask your heavenly Father to help you cultivate your own capabilities and develop your own style. As well, purpose to appreciate the members of your spiritual family for who they are, even though their outlook or approach may be very different from yours. Simply stop comparing and enjoy being you; to begin the process consider spending some time pondering the following Heart Search!
UNWRAPPING MY SPIRITUAL GIFT . . .A PERSONAL HEART SEARCH
- Read the passages of Scriptures that describe the Spiritual Gifts—1. Corinthians 12:4-10; Romans 12:3-8; 1. Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Peter 4:7-11.
- Confirm that you are a child of God; you won’t be given your Spiritual Gifts until the salvation transaction is completed—Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:12, 6:23, 5:8.
- Pray for openness to the leading of the Holy Spirit in relation to the use of your gift.
- Examine your desire in the use of your Spiritual Gifts—Philippians 2:13; Psalm 37:4.
- Identify the needs of your home and church—1 Corinthians 12:12-27.
- Evaluate your previous ministry-related experiences.
- Listen to the counsel of mature believers—Proverbs 1:5.
- Identity one thing or action you are involved in that is forcing you to be something you are not. If possible, remove yourself from that activity and see if you sense relief.
- What happens when you compare yourself with others? Do you find that you don’t match up?
- Do the results of the comparison give Satan an opportunity to discourage you?
- Are you trying to be something that simply is not you and never will be? Are you willing to accept that your Spiritual Gifts are different and focus on maximizing them to their utmost?
- Analyze your relationship with your family members and friendships to determine if you are pressuring someone to conform to your standards or skills. If so, are you willing to back off, let your family member or friend be the person God made him or her to be, and encourage your friend to reach his or her full potential?
- Tell your heavenly Father that you desire to be a faithful steward of the gifts He gave you— Matthew 25:14-30; 1 Peter 4:10.
Remember that heart searching is profitable—however, one caution is offered—concentrating too much on yourself can lead to discouragement.Rather, focus on the One who is sufficient for your every need—Philippians 4:19.
Consider studying the life of Miriam, whose life reflects both the use and misuse of her Spiritual Gifts (Exodus 15:19-21; Numbers 12:1-15; 20:1). (Matthew 23:23; Romans 12:8; Titus 3:5; James 3:17). What personal application will you draw from her life?
Happy is the heart of the woman who adjusts the use of her Spiritual Gifts to her season of life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-22).
Visit The Everyday Homemaker next week as I share May’s Homemaking Hints for the Everyday Homemaker.
If you would like a sample chapter of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook simply click on “Contact Pat” and request your copy.
Blessings on your week as you focus on making your house a home!