The last three posts bring me now to what God has taught me about humility and the use of my gifts. I am experiencing a fascinating aspect of spiritual growth that I like to call the “pendulum swing”. This happens when we discover we are wrong, and we do an “over-correction”. We discover our error, and we “swing wide” to the other extreme to fix the problem.
That’s what I had to do for a period of time, as a creative person – to take my “self” out of the equation, so that my ego didn’t get in the way of God using me. And boy, did I ever do it! Actually, I probably went a little too far the other way. It got to the point where I felt guilty using my gifts in public, or receiving any praise from others.
It was at that point God threw a penalty flag. He told me it was time for me to stop avoiding my gifts, but now to begin using them the right way and for the right goals. It was time to stop avoiding the spotlight, and to use my gifts to their fullest extent.
So today, I am enjoying being a fully-matured “ham for Jesus”. I do not avoid using my gifts, but only will be sure to continually check my motives along the way. But at the same time, I do not react to accusations of being out for my own glory. Honestly, I know how to do that really well, so I can tell when I’m actually walking in God’s Spirit.
Finally, for those of us who have a showy, audacious, extravagant gift – God does not want us to fain a false humility. He doesn’t bless us with a gift and then shame us for using it. He may shut down our opportunities for a while, but it is only to teach us to use the gift responsibly. When that happens, it is only to help us realize that though we are gifted, God can only use us when our hearts are right.
But if our hearts are His, then we are to use our gifts audaciously, with joy and exuberance! We are to never apologize for our talents, or allow ourselves to be chided by those who only covet our abilities (and there will always be those who will – count on it). We have learned our lessons, and our gifts have been laid intentionally at God’s altar. Now God is saying to take them up again, and use them as weapons to rescue a world lost in sin, sorrow and hopelessness. Our gifts bring light and illumination to a dark world – so submit them to God and use them for His glory alone.
Oh, and by the way…HAVE A BLAST DOING IT! It’s OK – God’s reward for using the gift correctly is the joy you will feel in being used. You’ll know the thrill of being fitted on His hand like a glove, and creating beautiful things through that simple little gift He gave you – what an honor!