Imagine, the track great, Florence Griffith Joyner (before becoming Flo-Jo and before all the titles she obtained) at the starting line of the 200 meter dash in her very first track meet. Up until that point she had been diligently training, practicing, working out, and lifting weights in preparation for this event. Her coaches have given her all the advice she needs on how to run her race properly and she has even followed a strict diet to ensure that her body will perform at its best. She is more than prepared to run her event.
As she steps into her assigned lane and waits for the starter to give the okay to get into the blocks, she remembers all the drills and the warm-ups that led to this moment.
“On your mark,” the starter says.
She steps into her blocks in preparation to start.
“Set!” he continues.
She gets in the ready position.
Then he fires the gun and everyone takes off while Florence is still in her set position.
The starter, the crowd, and her coaches are startled because she didn’t false start and she didn’t fall. There was no legitimate reason as to why she didn’t go; she just didn’t finish the race because she never started it. Everyone was disappointed and even she was disappointed with herself because she knew what she was capable of and all the potential she had to be great but she never utilized it.
As Christians, God has given us gifts, talents, and abilities to be used to bring glory to His name. And if we continue to sit on them and not put them to work, we run the risk of diminishing God’s work in the lives of others. Furthermore, we can lose the efficiency of these gifts if they are not put into practice.
First Timothy 4:14-15 (NIV) says, “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.”
The best way to appreciate your gift is to use it! The more you use it, the better it gets and the more satisfaction you bring to God through blessing others. What is it that you are good at? Is it writing? Teaching? Singing? Whatever it is, use it and use it for God. It is a dangerous thing to know what you have and not put it to use for whatever reason. Don’t be like Flo-Jo in the set position. Think about it, had she not used her gift/talent she would have never achieved the honors, titles, and medals that she did. If we as Christians never use our gifts, talents, and abilities we may never achieve all that God has for us.
STIR UP THE GIFT!