How Will You Use Your Gifts in 2013?


We had a party Thursday night for the elders and managers at our church and we were all instructed to bring along a white elephant gift to share.  I know that when our pastor, Chris, and his wife, Leigh, brought their gift to share they were relieved to get that eyesore out of the house once and for all!  Jim was the lucky recipient of their treasure.  You know what they say–one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!  The fact is they just didn’t realize what they had!

For instance, it has been great for taking our Christmas movies and music on the run!

For instance, it has been great for taking our Christmas movies and music on the run!
Jim and I found it to be a perfect arm rest for when we are snuggling on the couch!

Jim and I found it to be a perfect arm rest for when we are snuggling on the couch!

With all of the snow on the screen it was naturally the perfect accent for our Christmas decorations.

With all of the snow on the screen it was naturally the perfect accent for our Christmas decorations.

It really helped our grandson, Brycen, reach those areas that are typically out of reach for him so he could help with the tree!

Speaking of decorating, it really helped our grandson Brycen reach those areas that are typically out of reach for him so he could help with the tree!

Jim found it to be ther perfect cup holder.  No coasters needed around here!

Jim found it to be ther perfect cup holder. No coasters needed around here!

It was also great fun as it posed as a game boy for Brycen as we traveled!

It was also great fun as it posed as a personal gaming device for Brycen as we traveled!

I think the next time we go to lunch, we will remember to bring a belt to help hold Penelope on her booster seat.  We were the envy of other parents at the restaurant today!

I think the next time we go to lunch, we will remember to bring a belt to help hold Penelope on her booster seat. We were the envy of other parents at the restaurant today!

Jim found its GPS capabilities extraordinary.  It was so easy to see on such a large screen!

Jim found its GPS capabilities extraordinary. It was so easy to see on such a large screen!

Brycen especially found it helpful while trying to perfect some yoga moves. What a great tool for relaxation!

Brycen was tired from all of his activities and decided to take a break.  Grandpa's gift made a perfect foot stool!

Brycen was soon tired from all of his activities and decided to take a break. Grandpa’s gift made a perfect foot stool!

white elephant gift 024

Actually we didn’t realize just how worn out he was. Later we found him napping on our bed from his long and active day!

I know that when Pastor Chris and Leigh read this blog they will be looking for excuses to get their white elephant gift back.  They really had something with this gadget but had no idea of the treasure they possessed!  OK.  I’m teasing.

During the Christmas season we think about gifts a lot.  As we celebrate Jesus’s birth we are foremost reminded about the free Gift of salvation that we received as a result of Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins.  Then once we ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus as our Savior, we find that we are gifted again.  The Bible mentions our spiritual gifts in  1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NKJV).  It says:  There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

There are those who may not recognize the gift they have been given.  Nor do they see the value in their gifts or take the time to explore ways to use them as they should.  They view them as a white elephant gift rather than the valuable tool they’ve been given.  They might even pray for a different gift thinking theirs is not good enough and is not useful.  It might actually take someone else to recognize the value in their gift before they see it as it is themselves.

Do you know how God has gifted you?  Are you using your gifts to their fullest?  Does your gift feel like a white elephant to you?  Take time this month to ask God to show you how to best use your gifts for Him.  The scripture says that He distributes the gifts to each one individually as He wills.  That wording alone tells me that He has a purpose for giving us the gifts we have.  He doesn’t want us to see them as white elephant gifts; rather, He wants us to use them for Him and for the Body of Christ.  Maybe we simply need to stop and pray that we can see our gifts through God’s eyes to find the treasure and recognize the reason that He has given us the gifts that He did.

So as you reflect on what I have said this week remember Jim’s white elephant gift.  Be reminded that even though it may appear useless or insignificant, if God is in it, it holds great power and gives purpose to those who believe.  Turn what you thought was trash into a treasure this upcoming year.  Just as Jesus gave His life as a free gift to us I pray that we too will offer ourselves to Him as His gift in the days to come.  Paul gives us great direction in Romans 2 about just that.  He says: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

You see.  One gift is not better than the other.  However, if the value of your gift is not obvious, you may need to seek wisdom from other Christians and pray asking for God’s divine direction.  For when we are obedient and use the gifts we have been given, we are blessed.  God doesn’t hand out white elephant gifts; rather all of His gifts are something to treasure!  Enjoy your week and don’t forget…go be a blessing!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Linda DeFazio
    Dec 09, 2012 @ 19:43:04

    Lori,

    I loved your post today. Quite timeless. You are a blessing to everyone who knows you. I’m only sorry we weren’t around for the party. I’m glad that you all had a great time.

    Blessings,

    Linda

    Reply

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