5 Ways to Hide Your Spiritual Gift
God equips every believer for ministry through various spiritual gifts. Here are five ways to hide your spiritual gift, and why you should never do that.
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. -- 1 Peter 4:10 (NASB)
Is Your Gift in a Drawer?
Is your spiritual gift in a drawer? The Christian Career Center posed this question in one of their newsletter articles.
Everyone has a skill, talent, or natural ability. If you are a Christian, however, you also have at least one spiritual gift.
God gives every believer a special gift to use for ministry purposes. These spiritual gifts reveal God's grace and help to build His kingdom.
Have you identified your spiritual gift? Do you use it to honor God and serve other believers? Or do you hide your gift by ignoring it, or keep it tucked away in a drawer?
Maybe you are trying to discover your spiritual gift. You are poring through inventory lists and taking assessment tests. You are reading books and articles to help you identify your skills, talents, personality traits.
You may be talking to your pastor or Sunday school teacher, or a Christian counselor or life coach. You are praying about your spiritual gift, aren't you?
These are good ways to discover your unique gift and calling. God wants you to recognize your gift, and He will help you identify it.
God Will Reveal Your Gift
As you pray and talk to God, He will reveal your spiritual gift. What will you do next?
Wayne Cordeiro, the pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, talked about what he calls the richest places on earth: the graveyards and cemeteries of the world.
"Under [these] rectangular pieces of sod are songs yet unsung, books left unwritten, and masterpiece paintings that were never painted," he said.
Now think of all the potential that is buried in the church. Why do Christians fail to discover and use their spiritual gifts? Why do believers leave their spiritual gifts wrapped up and hidden away?
Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, the founders of Christian Career Center, offer some ideas. With explanations from the counselors and a few of my favorite pastors, here are five ways to hide your spiritual gift, and why you should never do that.
Live Your Calling
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1. Lack Awareness
One way to hide your spiritual gift is to lack awareness of your design and purpose. But God has a plan for your life, and your spiritual gift can help you fulfill it.
See Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 to read what the Bible has to say about spiritual gifts.
Do you need help connecting your gift with ministry and career opportunities? According to Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, "most families, schools, and (sadly) churches don't help people learn how to discover and invest their God given gifts."
They wrote Live Your Calling to address this concern. Check it out.
2. Pursue Money and Things
Another way to hide your spiritual gift is to pursue money. The pursuit of money is a primary goal for many people, even believers. Did you know that Jesus discussed money and possessions in half of his parables?
"Accumulating money or stuff is a vision of sorts. But it’s the kind of vision that leaves [people] wondering [what they could have / should have done] with their brief stay on this little ball of dirt," says Andy Stanley, the founder of North Point Ministries.
Obedience to God is more important than your earthly possessions. If your pursuit of money is keeping your spiritual gift in a drawer, it is time to make a change.
Kevin Brennfleck says it doesn't have to be a radical change. Simply be willing to live within your current circumstances, on less money if needed, so you can do what God requires.
3. Fail to Make Plans
It has been said that a failure to plan is a plan for failure. This can apply to many things in life, including your spiritual gift. Failing to plan its use is another way to hide it.
Many Christians wait for God to move in their lives, but they neglect the practical steps that are necessary to serve others or reach their goals. As a result, they never do the work that it takes to fulfill their God-ordained purpose.
Do you fail to plan? Set one or two goals and take small steps toward achieving them. With a little creativity, encouragement, and input from other believers, you can put your spiritual gift to good use for the kingdom of God.
4. Be Fearful or Afraid
"Remember the third servant in the parable of the talents?” asks Kevin Brennfleck. “He dug a hole and buried his one talent. Why? Because he was afraid.”
Do fear and uncertainty plague you? Fear is yet another way to hide your spiritual gift. Past failures, shattered dreams, and dashed hopes can make you run from your gift.
This is not what God wants for any of His children. He gave you at least one spiritual gift. Use it to honor Him, serve your family in Christ, and reveal His grace to others.
Grab hold of your gift and invest in the world around you.
Ministering Through Gifts
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5. Stay Active and Busy
Charles Stanley, the founder of In Touch Ministries, suggests another reason for hidden gifts: activity or busyness.
“Sunday may be the only time you can do things as a family," says Stanley. "If you travel during the week, you may need Sunday afternoon to prepare for the following week.
"Other commitments may make it impossible for you to attend the midweek service at your church or serve on any committees.”
These busy activities do not excuse you from your responsibility to the church. God gave you an important role that only you can fill, and a spiritual gift to fulfill that role.
Your talents, skills, training, experience -- and, yes, your spiritual gift -- may serve you well on the job and in your secular pursuits. There is nothing wrong with that.
But don't lose sight of the main reason for your spiritual gift. Use it for God's glory and for the good of His people.
Reference Sources / Further Reading
- Brennfleck, Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck. (2007). "Are Your Gifts in a Drawer?" Christian Career Center. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
- Stanley, Charles F. The Glorious Journey. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996. Print.
- Stanley, Charles F. (2012) "God's Plan for You." In Touch Ministries. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
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Last updated on August 3, 2013
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