Do you, like me, get over excited when you see a stack of presents under the Christmas tree? Even better when you look at the labels and discover that they all have YOUR name on them!!
Hold that thought…
Did you know that there are 5 different ways we speak and understand emotional love called Love Languages as identified by Dr Gary Chapman who found this out through many years of running marriage counselling.
These Love Languages can be applied to everyone and are as follows: Quality Time, Receiving gifts, Affirmation, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
So, one of these love languages is receiving gifts and this is what I want to talk to you about today.
Just as we like to give and receive gifts with those we love and to see the joy on the faces of the people who unwrap gifts from us, how much more does our Father in heaven want to give good gifts to us and see our face as we open them.
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” – Matthew 7:11
God is the ultimate Dad, the best example of what it means to be a Dad who only ever looks upon us with pride and a fierce love.
For some of us that has not always been the case with our earthly father or mother but God is so good and wants us to experience his love for us where we have felt let down by earthly parents, and he loves to lavish his love, mercy and grace upon us.
Part of parenting is helping your child to grow up and make good choices, to know the difference between right and wrong and to love others and not judge them. Another part of parenting is to help your child steward the talents and gifts they are born with so that they can lead fulfilling lives, sharing what they have within them to help and impact the wider world.
To put it another way, if you discover your child has a passion for dancing or taking things apart to figure out how they work (this one can be annoying if your child cannot then put them back together, ho hum!) you wouldn’t then discourage them from using those talents and gifts and stop them from growing in them, would you?
It’s the same with God, who knew everything about you before the world was even created.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13
He has created you with your own unique mix of abilities and gifts that are waiting to be discovered.
Back to the Christmas tree image from the start, I believe that there is a pile of gifts with your name on them and that God would want you to start unwrapping them today.
The bible has lots to say on the subject of spiritual gifts and this chapter in Corinthians is rather long but SO helpful.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
The Holy Spirit is available to all believers and is also called the ‘helper’, among other things, because he helps us operate and grow in our gifts. I believe God puts a desire in us for specific gifts in the first place, we then need to develop them. Like a seed, that needs tending to grow and reach maturity like a plant.
Mark Twain famously said, “They say that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why!”
Finding out what your spiritual gifts are will certainly help you discover why you were born and how God wants to use you to bless those around you.
This website is really helpful in pointing the way to what your gifts are but it’s not the be all and end all and should only be used as an indicator: Spiritual Gifts Test
You can also ask people who know you well what they think your gifts are and of course ask God to help you, show you and guide you.
So, what are you waiting for? Start unwrapping those gifts!