I met Crystal through an online blogger’s group last year and was immediately inspired by her bubbly personality, down-to-earth nature, and her love for the Lord. Crystal, like many women I know, wears many hats. And though she doesn’t think so, each one of those hats fits her perfectly. Crystal is a loving wife, caring mother, dedicated homeschooler, and talented photographer. This Southern country girl is also funny, smart, spirited, beautiful, and hardworking. Crystal blooms wherever she is planted.
This year, I’ve seen God at work in Crystal’s life. He’s shown her the unique gift she possesses and He’s given her the courage she’s needed to step out in faith and use that gift. Over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Crystal unwrap that gift and embrace it. Crystal recognizes the truth of this scripture and how it affects how she is to live: Each 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)
God is the best gift-giver. The best one ever. He sacrificed His only Son so that every single one of us could have eternal life with Him after our Earthly lives end. But He didn’t stop there. God has given each of us at least one gift we can use and enjoy in the here and now, gifts we can use to bring Him glory, bless others, and enhance our lives. But some of us are hesitant and we choose not to open the gift. Why is that? Oh my friend, there are many reasons we won’t open the gift and I’ve wrestled with every single one.
We won’t open God’s gift because…
- Fear says, “Don’t open it. You might not like the gift.”
- Pride says, “Don’t open it. You don’t need His gift. You’re doing fine on your own.”
- Doubt says, “Don’t open it. There’s no gift inside.”
- Procrastination says, “Don’t open it now. Wait until tomorrow.”
- Laziness says, “Don’t open it. It’ll be too much for you to handle.”
- Low self-esteem says, “Don’t open it. You’re not worthy of what’s inside.”
- Discouragement says, “Don’t open it. It’s not really that special anyway.”
When we succumb to those negative thoughts, we refuse to act and we continue to miss out on opportunities to flourish. But if we drown out those thoughts with God’s voice, we, like Crystal, will want to open our gifts and use them to advance His kingdom. Here’s what God says about our gifts…
- Regarding fear…”Don’t be afraid. Open it. You’ll love what I have for you!”
- Regarding pride…”Don’t boast. Humble yourself and open it. Let me help you be the best you.”
- Regarding doubt…”Don’t doubt. Open it. I have something wonderful in store for you!”
- Regarding procrastination…”Don’t delay. Open it today. I want you to see and use it right away!”
- Regarding laziness…”Don’t slack. Open it. This gift is worth the effort.”
- Regarding low self-esteem…”Don’t loathe yourself. Open it. You are special and I want to bless you.”
- Regarding discouragement…”Don’t lose hope. Open it. This gift is amazing. You won’t be disappointed.”
There is someone who is waiting for you to put your gift to work. Someone needs encouragement and seeing you use your gift may cause them to persevere. There is someone who needs to feel the blessing that comes to them when you use your gift. Don’t let anyone or anything come in between you and your God given gift. He’s waiting. Take the gift. Open it. Embrace it. And then, use it to do His work. You won’t be sorry.
© 2015, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.