Sometimes, I have to giggle a little when I’m stewing over a thought for a blog post and then I go to church and a preacher preaches a message along the lines of what I had planned to write about.
Confirmation to write the post? Yes.
So, here we go.
This week, I’ve spent some time digesting Paul’s letters to Timothy. So much sage advise and godly wisdom in those letters! Also, has anyone every noticed how Paul was sometimes extra sassy? I mean, the man had no qualms about pointing out the evil’s done to him by Alexander the coppersmith (check out 2 Timothy 4 to see what I mean). Makes me feel slightly better about occasionally being blunt. But, only just slightly. 😉
Anyway, not the topic for this post, y’all. I want to discuss how some of us are treating the gifts and talents the Good Lord has blessed us with. Just so we’re all clear, I’m lumping spiritual gifts and natural gifts and talents into the same category here. Maybe that’s not exactly kosher to do so, but it is today. So, just bear with me a minute.
Paul makes a point to tell Timothy not to neglect the gift that was in him (1 Timothy 4:14). The scripture tells us Timothy’s gift was prophesied about and prayed for, so we can assume it was some mighty important gift to continue the work of the Lord.
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
1 Timothy 4:14-16 KJV
It’s a curious thing, though, isn’t it? That Paul has to flat out say, “don’t neglect it”? If you were Timothy and your calling was “big” (I mean, being one of Paul’s right hand men, it’s natural to assume Timothy had an important work to do), why do you think Paul had to remind him not to neglect it? Especially given that in Timothy’s time, spreading the Gospel was a critical thing to do? (I’m totally not saying that spreading the Good News is not critical today. It is. And probably more so than ever before. I simply mean that Christianity as a whole was in its beginning stages and it was taking a bit of work to get the message to other nations.)
Paul didn’t just remind Timothy about his gift, though. He encouraged him to meditate about it and give himself wholly to it (1 Timothy 4:15).
Let’s pretend for a moment, shall we? Pretend Paul actually wrote those letters to us. I can almost hear Paul saying, “Cassie, don’t neglect your gifts. And don’t downplay them or push away what God has called you to do. Pour your whole heart into it. And watch what happens.”
I wrote a post about the different talents and gifts that make up the body of Christ a few weeks ago. Each of us are called to do something different. And that’s okay. Maybe you’re not a singer or preacher. That’s fine, but I bet there is something the Lord has called you out special to do.
But think about your calling for a minute.
If you’re called to preach and you neglect to preach God’s word, that is one sinner, one precious soul, that never received an invitation for grace and is still on the path to destruction.
If you’re called to teach Sunday School and you feel your lessons are no longer important enough to teach or that you’re wasting your effort, that’s a small child (or several) without the seeds of Christ planted in their hearts.
If you’re called to testify and witness, but you keep your mouth shut, that’s a soul that leaves your presence still feeling low because they never heard your testimony that was meant to encourage them.
If you’re called to write, whether that’s blogging or handwriting letters to invite others to church (yes, I’m talking to myself here) and you neglect to put your pen to the paper, that’s another soul left untouched because you neglected to share the Good News through the written word.
If you’re called to give a message from the Lord to someone and you don’t… or you’ve been lead to pray for someone, I mean really pray for someone, and you don’t… or someone asked you for advice and you hold off on giving godly wisdom….
That means there are two souls in need of help. The one you were supposed to help and encourage, maybe even lead to the Cross. And yours, because you didn’t listen to the Lord.
Paul finished his statement by telling Timothy, “take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine, continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16).
You might feel like your calling is small and unimportant or that your prayers are tiny and barely getting off the ground. But, friend, with God in it, nothing is ever small. There is always a reason you are called to do something. Always.
Go be a blessing to someone.