Gifts and What To Do With Them
Coming out of the season of gift-giving, I am struggling with how to sort my gifts. January has become “organize your life” month, at least according to Target, and I find myself buying more and more plastic containers in an attempt to sort out the mess that is my living room.
I have organized my stuff into piles for now. There is the Throw Away pile of candy and junk food I do not need to eat, ever. There is the Give Away pile of things that I do not need and will not use, even though they are useful. There is the Store for Future Use pile of things I don’t need but are too nice to just give away. Better to pack them away in the attic where I will have forgotten them by spring. Finally, the Hoard pile of things that I want to keep all for myself and not share with the kids or my husband.
In the midst of feeling so very clever about my ability to organize my stuff, I begin to wonder if I have “organized” God’s gifts to me in a similar pattern. Do I have a pile of wasted gifts? Do I hoard certain gifts, like grace and love? Have I neglected a gift for so long I have forgotten I even have it?
Being in the business of music ministry, I hear people claim (a lot) that they have not been given the gift of singing. (That horrible thing to say in front of your kids will be the subject of a future blog.) I believe we have begun to confuse a “gift” with a “talent”. Having a talent in a special area is something to be grateful for. It is something unique to a person, a special arrangement of their DNA that allows them to effortlessly excel at singing, or painting, or solving equations. Certainly, these talents are God given and come with great responsibility. However, the gift of song has less to do with your ability to match pitch, and more to do with your thankful heart.
God has given us all the gift of song, and that means we all have equal reason in our hearts to sing God’s praise. In fact, we are biblically instructed to do so:
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16
I encourage you to reorganize your spiritual gifts! Remember the promises God has made to us and renew your commitment to use your gifts, not throw them away or hoard them. If God has been patient with you, spread that gift around. If God has blessed you, find a person to bless today. And, if you feel the bubble of praise floating from your heart to your mouth, by all means sing out loud!
CUEnotes Contributor, Director of Youth Music Ministry, FUMC Athens, GA