Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Read: Job 4:1-7:21, 1 Corinthians 14:18-40, Psalm 37:30-40, Proverbs 21:27
Relate: I can’t remember the exact moment it first happened. I can remember my emotions. I can remember my fear and anticipation. I can remember where I was and how quickly the heart in my chest was beating. It happened when I was in eighth or perhaps ninth grade. I was in a church service where the worship was particularly intense. Suddenly, I felt God wanted me to speak out and give a message in tongues. I know, with that last sentence I just lost some of you. Sorry about that. I cannot speak to what you do or do not believe. I am only speaking of what happened. Or rather, what did not happen. It probably did not go on for very long, but it felt like about five minutes where I was wrestling between being obedient and speaking out vs my fear of being wrong or making a fool of myself. Almost to the exact instant where I decided that I will not speak, another lady in the church stood up and began doing what I refused.
I wish I could say I had learned my lesson from this. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Three or four times over the course of the next few years, almost this exact same scenario played out. I would feel God’s prompting, there would be a struggle, I would say no, and then someone else would speak out. The last time this happened was my senior year in high school. Again, I can remember the exact place and setting I was in. I remember thinking, “Next time, God, I promise I will do it.” There has never been that next time. God has used me in other ways. I’ve prophesied. I’ve had words of knowledge. But I have never felt led to step out in that direction since.
React: God has gifted each of us in different ways for the strengthening of all. There are some ways I have been gifted and some ways I am not. Some of those, like singing/music, I have simply not been gifted and it would be torture for others to have to endure my attempts. Other ways I might have been used but, like a buried talent, it was taken from me. God gave me something for the strengthening of others, and I buried it.
Everything we have is not ours. Every gift we have been blessed with, whether it falls under the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12, or the leadership gifts in Ephesians, or something we would call more mundane: you might be gifted as an artist, or a handiman, an administrator or a businessman. Whatever it is. Whatever they are, they are yours so that through you God can strengthen His church. Whatever gifts or talents you possess, they are not possessions, they are gifts. So give them.
God, I long to be a tool in Your hands. I long to be used by You. For those times in my past where I have buried or hidden the gifts You have given me for others, forgive me. Help me to be obedient when You are prompting me to step out. Help me to be observant for those ways I can give what I have to be a blessing to others. Help me to be willing to be stretched beyond what I thought possible. In all things let me be surrendered to You that Your church might be built up and that Your Kingdom might advance.
18 thoughts on “August 22 – Gift Unused”
You always have inspiring posts in your bag. 🙂
It’s a Mary Poppins type bag. 😉
What an absolutely lovely post. What an edifying post. As children of God we are loaded with benefits, each one a gift. Each one given by a God who is at peace with us and who knows all things, including what we will or will not do with His gifts. I do not so much like my theology to be finished: I will be learning God forever, and so I will be learning the things of God forever. Tongues, and the use of tongues should not be an emotionally charged topic any more than any of the other gifts (I would like to see a little more fire over the gift of giving). And we learn to eagerly desire love more than the rest because in love the gifts are freely exercised. Thank you for the honesty of your post; a gift unused but repented of is truly forgiven and I believe that the words from your mouth have pointed people to Christ many times since. I just watched an old video of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand saying that American sent ones could be better at their calling if they would simply learn the language of the people they are ministering to; hmmm … tongues? Maybe not, maybe so, I don’t know, but that would not be a bad gift to pray for. This post made my heart glad.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to learn Turkish?
That is why we would pray for the gift. And maybe it would help if you got in touch with that pastor I told you about, he knows English as well as his native language. 🙂
And by the way, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy communicating with you more directly.
In the Azusa street revival when the gifts of tongues was given it was for the nation that Jesus was sending the individual to as a missionary.
Hi Beejai, I think most True Christians will relate to your experience, we are afraid of being “False Prophets” or of giving messages that come from our own soul, and so we sit on it rather than speak it out. I relate to that in my own life. I pray God’s continued blessing on you and your blog site, that He will use this site to bless people, and to draw them close to Jesus, as I believe that this age of God’s grace is very rapidly running out. Lex
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I was really needing to move on with my day but thought, ill read one more. On my refrigerator is a magnet saying: “Be yourself. There is something that you can do better than any other, Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that”. I think you have a gift. We all likely have many. But there may certainly also be things that one Will Do, even tho others may be better qualified, but no one else is doing so or thought of it. Like ive said, i dont think i will ever wear the label of Christian, and I dont go to church, and dont read the bible, but i always read youre posts when i read wordpress.
[actually i occasionally go to UU church, plan to start Zen center, and found a Christian church that looks pretty neat community wise i plan to visit & connect with.
Dont really buy anything that claims to be a ‘total system’. Sort of wipes out the basic premise of ‘Justice as Fairness’ in my contemporary philosophy course many moons ago.
Interesting side note: I am told I once ‘spoke in tongues’ but i was at the time blacked out, very late at Dad’s party after all the old folks had gone home. Our mutual friend was going to put it on youtube, but mom & sister talked him out of it. ID like to see it though. Will have to send email. Musta been at least 6 years, since the folks hadnt started pressuring me hard about the drinking yet.
1st Corinthians 14:26 is a description of how the church should function when it meets. This kind of dynamic can only happen in small groups. For every member to be permitted and encouraged to use their gifts you have to be limited to a small gathering. The church was never intended to become what it is today. The early church met in homes for the first 300 years if its existence until the emperor Constantine banned individual house churches in favor of large cathedrals.
That is a very oversimplified partial explanation of the history of the early church.
The ekklesia we meant to be simple. Men have taken the simple and made it complex so that what we . have today is nothing like the ekklesia that Christ purchased with His blood. There’s saying that says the the church began in Jerusalem as a fellowship moved th Greece where it became a philosophy, then to Rome where it became an institution, then to Europe where it became a culture nd finally to America where it’s become an enterprise.
I read this and wonder if this was me writing. The same thing happened to me at a young age. I remember each time the a Holy Spirit moved through me. Each time I could not give the word. I have learned that God is a most patient Father who loves me. I have also learned I have many gifts I do use for this glory.