When Our Gift Gets in the Way

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
(Romans 12:3-9)

Anna and I were talking about the concept of when our gift can actually become a curse. She was listening to some lessons online about this very thing, and she pointed out that sometimes we don’t know when to use our gift and when to turn it off. There are occasions when what God has blessed us with a talent but the way we use it can really cause a hindrance in our relationships.

Here is an example from Scripture:

Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.
(Proverbs 25:20)

It may be that your gift is you are an incredibly positive and upbeat person. You always see the bright side of everything. That’s wonderful! But you might come across as really annoying or even as one who minimizes the pain of others by how you approach them. A sister who just lost a spouse may not want to hear you sing, “Sing and be happy.” If you are that person who always sees the bright side, you might have trouble comprehending why others do not. You will have to be very careful then on how you approach someone who doesn’t share that same gift.

Some people are great teachers, but what comes with that sometimes is that those who are really gifted at telling others what they need to do have a hard time turning that off. They are not really good at listening and asking questions and truly finding out what’s on someone’s mind. Having something to say is not always the right thing. Solomon said, “There is a time to be silent” (Ecclesiastes 3).

On the reverse side of that, there are sometimes those who are really gifted at being awesome listeners, but it may be that God wants them to speak up in that situation. Being silent is not always the right thing. Solomon said, “There is a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3).

Just something to think about today. What are your gifts and talents that God has blessed you with? Have there been times that what you are really good at has actually become a hindrance in your relationships? What can you do about that with God’s help? Have you asked God to help you use your gift in a way that will lift up and not hurt others?

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
(Romans 12:15-16)

In Faith, Love, and Work

Thank you, Shane, for writing this past week. This article was supposed to go out yesterday (Friday), but some glitch happened. So…here it is. Have a great weekend! God bless.


Who are we if we are Christians? We are those whom Jesus has added to His body as a result of our obedience to His gospel…having understood who we are and the need of salvation we have, confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior, asking forgiveness from our sins, being baptized (literal meaning is immersion) in water symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and becoming a new spiritual being no longer slave to sin but to righteousness endeavoring to serve God faithfully with a repentant heart. We are, as Christians, family and brethren. As such, we should choose to rely on each other (Ephesians 4:16), agree to work together (Acts 9:26-28), be responsible/accountable to one another (Romans 12:4-8), love one another (Romans 12:9-10). This list is not all inclusive but communicates the idea we are in this together, should work for one another, look out for one another, love one another, etc.

There is benefit in choosing to be part of Christ’s body and the lives of your brethren. Chiefly, choosing this fellowship reassures us that we are in fact not alone!

“…knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”  (1 Peter 5:9; NKJV)

We are a community which is distinguished by faith, hope, and love. Paul recognizes this in his salutation to the Thessalonians, a body/family in Christ Jesus. “…remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor or love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Thessalonians 1:3; NKJV)

Each of these distinguishing marks of identity are outgoing…Faith – Towards GOD – Rests in the Past, Hope – Towards the Future – Looks to the Future, and Love – Toward Others – Works in the Present. Together they focus our lives and we find ourselves being drawn up towards GOD in faith, out towards others in love, and on towards His coming in hope!

Faith, hope and love sound like rather abstract qualities, but they have concrete, practical results.

Each is productive…when you sow there will be reaping! Faith works! Love labors! Hope endures!

“…how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 THESS1:9-10; NKJV)

When you chose first and choose daily to be a disciple of Jesus, this is who you are. If you are sowing the seeds of spiritual blessings daily this is who you are. If you choose to die to self and live for Jesus…this is who you are. We make these choices for our Lord and Savior and for the brothers and sisters we serve with in our journey from earth to heaven. We are not alone. Hold the line! Choose victory today!

You were bought at a price

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Guys, this is just a simple encouragement today to take care of your bodies and your health. You only get one body on this earth. Because of the advancements of medicine we can replace a few parts, but in the end you get one body. Paul says in the verse above that it is not your own. You were bought by the blood of Jesus Christ.

If you are a Christian, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. That’s plain Scripture. Our response to this knowledge and relationship to Christ and the Holy Spirit is to glorify God in our body and in our spirit.

This isn’t talked about much in church, but we need to talk about it more. Sometimes our relationship to food is unhealthy. Food is supposed to give us nourishment and even enjoyment, but if we eat too much and eat the wrong things our bodies pay the price. Even Solomon talked about how wonderful honey is, but if we eat too much of it, it makes us sick (Proverbs 25:16,27).

Who does that affect when we hurt our bodies because of neglect? Does that just affect me? No. It affects my wife and kids, too. My ability to do for them and to enjoy life with them can be greatly hindered because I’m not taking care of my body. Our influence on others for Christ is also affected when we do not live with self-control.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)

Food is wonderful, God gave all of it to us to enjoy and to receive with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:4-5). But if your food and your passions for it are controlling you, then you have put your passions and not God in control of your body.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

So, today, take some time to reflect upon this. This is not to say that we all are to walk around as marathon runners, bodybuilders, having 2 percent body fat. But we do need to take the encouragement and warnings of Scripture to heart about how we eat and how we take care of our health.

  1. Push away from the table a little sooner. You don’t have to heap on such big helpings.
  2. Use a smaller plate.
  3. Take a walk. Bodily exercise does profit a little, Paul said. (1 Timothy 4:8).
  4. Do your own research on how to eat healthier. There is a wealth of information out there. Here is an article about sugar and how addictive it is and the havoc too much sugar can wreak on your body.

Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. (Ecclesiastes 2:24)