In a land far away (as in it only exists in my own mind) a certain villager was given a cup. He was told by the old, bearded man who gave it to him that anyone who drinks from this cup would be made well from whatever afflicted them. Right after saying this the old man mysteriously vanishes. The villager can’t believe his good fortune! His first thought is: “I am never going to be ill again! No matter what illness or injury comes my way all I’m going to have to do is drink from this cup.” The villager then locks the cup away in the safest spot in his house, intending to only bring it out when it was needed for personal use. Even though the next time he walked through the neighborhood he noticed many who were coughing, lame, blind, and even dying he hardened his heart and decided helping these people wasn’t worth the risk. The end.
What did you think of my story? It’s not the way the typical fairy tale goes, I’ll give you that. The story may, however, reflect reality more than we would like to admit. Our God has given each and every one of us incredible gifts. Perhaps the gift is not as dramatic as a magical cup. Even so, I imagine your gifts may be more powerful than you realize. Your gift may have the power to bring smiles, encourage the hurting, provide for another minister, maybe even show people the way to heaven! “Each one of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
I don’t know what all your gifts are, but I do know that you have at least one. And that gift has a purpose beyond just serving yourself. We are quite happy to use our talents to get money or get people to like us. How excited are we to use those same gifts to benefit others in God honoring ways? If that’s not something we’re interested in we are just like the villager who hoarded the cup. God has filled YOUR cup, and what you have can bless people greatly. That is, it could bless people if you brought it out and used it. Is that hard? Is there risk? Sure. But in all God commands the benefit far outweighs the cost. Serve others. Administer God’s grace. Share that cup!
Camden Avenue church of Christ