“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
You are a gift; a treasure really. Have you ever thought of yourself in those terms? Most would quickly dismiss calling themselves this in thoughts of seeming prideful or haughty. Me, a gift? Surely not. Oh, but others, they are gifts; gifts to this world with their time and presence. But me? Truth is, others might look at you and see you as a gift and you would have to either reject their theory in order to stay humble or you could accept this as fact and as God given.
This subject has been floating around in my brain all month and at last, it must come out. When I missed going to church or missed some event, and someone approached me later to let me know that they had missed seeing me, I would secretly think they were saying. “oh, what happened to you?” Translate- Are you backsliding? Everybody else came, why couldn’t you? My glasses had more of a self-conscious filter on them.
But I’ve had somewhat of an epiphany on this. I had to put it in the context of other people, before I put it on myself. If there was a church or family event, and I let someone know (that didn’t make it) that they were missed, what am I really saying to them? For me, I’m really saying that they are special and when they’re not around, that it is noticed, and that truly, they are missed. No judgment on why they had to miss, but just the simple truth that their missing presence was known.
Here’s the deal- you, yes, you reading this, ARE A GIFT. And when you are not around, there is something about you that someone will miss. People might not always say it, so don’t keep a journal to find out how many people have said they missed you in the past month. The very being of who you are is so completely different than anyone else, God fashioned and formed, that no one will ever be able to replace you.
When I first moved here I went through a funk. Has anyone ever experienced that? The feeling where you can’t even really explain it, but you’re just not in a good place and the only way to describe it is that you’re in a funk. That was me. And the more isolated I became, the deeper the funk. I actually said these things in my head. “It doesn’t matter if I go or not, it’s not like I know anyone.” “It’s just one event, no one will notice if I go.” How many of you know that the enemy loves to isolate people? Because when he can isolate you, he has you captive to speak lies and deceive you. What else happens when you’re isolated? You don’t give yourself a chance to meet people, to get lifted up and encouraged, and you allow your own fears to rule and run your life. And again, the enemy has exactly what he wants. He will feed you with things like, “What if I go to the new members class and there’s no one like me?” Can I stop you right here, and tell you that there’s no one like you, and that that is a good thing? “What if there’s that awkward silence?” “What if everybody is just doing that fake ‘nice’ thing?” And the enemy wins again. You, and your gifts, stay home.
I think we all need to take a realistic look of how the Lord views us. You and I are unique. We are a gift from God. He does not make mistakes, I assure you. If you are an introvert, rejoice. This means that you are probably very good at sitting down and talking with people and getting to know them, while people like me (uhm..) have a tendency to get fidgety and want to work the room in hopes of making sure I’ve had a chance to say hi to everyone. This is good. The extroverts and introverts must work together as a team, not competition! We all need each other.
Look in the mirror before you leave your house today and say these words: I am a gift. There is only one of me. God made me unique. When I am away, I am missed, and that is good.
I no longer filter those words of someone noticing I wasn’t there as them being religious and noticing every time I’m missing (and if they are, well, that’s between them and God, isn’t it?). I’m accountable to Him for what I do with my time, not man.
Just remember today if you catch yourself asking if it really matters when you’re not there- you matter. You make a difference. Some of you have a strong presence of joy on you when you enter a room- don’t keep that all to yourself! Share it, it is a gift to others. Some of you carry Gods peace wherever you go. Don’t keep it at home, there just might be someone at that event or gathering that needs to feel a little of that peace. Someone needed to be reminded of this today. Without you, Gods piece of the puzzle is missing and its just not complete! Go out today giving away the gifts He has given you and watch them multiply. Share your joy, share your gift of conversation, share your wisdom, spread your peace, and rejoice in the fact that there is no one exactly like you! How boring would it be if we were all the same? Thankfully we have creative Father who has made us to celebrate our differences instead of criticize them! So what are you waiting for? You are a gift! Go give yourself away!
Lord, anoint me to be used by you today. Thank you for these gifts you have given me- help me to not hide them, but to use them freely, as you would please. And thank you, that you have made me a gift to bring you glory. Amen
You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)