Have you ever given someone a gift, like say a gift card to a really nice restaurant, one that you can’t afford to eat at, but you sacrificed to buy the gift and 8 months later the gift card is still stuck to his or her refrigerator? Doesn’t that annoy the crap out of you?
Did you know that God has given you a gift? Romans 12:6 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” I don’t want to get into the differences between spiritual gifts and talents except to say that spiritual gifts are given by God to all believers by the Holy Spirit at the time they place their faith in Christ and talents are based on genetics. Suffice it to say, that either way, both are given by God and both should be used to glorify God and serve others. When we don’t use our gifts and talents, I think it’s an insult to our Creator and a disservice to ourselves. These gifts and talents are where our passions can be discovered. When we are using the gifts and talents that God gave us to do what God planned for us, who can get in our way? “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We become unstoppable. I pity the fool who tries.
Let’s break it down another way. When we are not using our God-given gifts we are choosing our way and not God’s way. Not a great idea. This didn’t work out so well for Jonah. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach and Jonah decided to run from God and go his own way. This decision resulted in Jonah’s three day vacation inside of a whale. Not exactly Club Med. But when Jonah got right with God and went to preach to the Ninevites, they repented and God spared 120,000 people; all because one man chose to use the gift God gave him.
And then there is Apostle Paul who said 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” I think that getting struck down from his horse and blinded taught Paul not to mess with God. Better to go with God instead of against Him.
What is your “woe to me”? What has God gifted you to do that you are not doing?