Each and every one of us has a special gift from God. Our individual gifts are quite unique and specific to each of us. God, in His goodness, gives each community all the gifts that are need to make the community work. This means that if all of us recognise and acknowledge the gifts we already have then we can make any community or parish work quite well. If people do not know their gifts or do not use them then the community can be quite dysfunctional.
In 2 Timothy 1.6 we read, “I remind you to keep alive the gift that God gave you”. In 1 Cor.12:7 we read, “The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all”. AgainSt Paulsays, “we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us (Rom 12.6).
God loves our community and church. That is why He has given us all the gifts that are needed in order to function as one body. We all have the personal responsibility to recognise and develop the gifts each of us has. The beauty of this is that we all have a gift to give, regardless of our age, education or other abilities. We have something which the community needs and if we do not share it, the community will suffer.
What kind of gifts could we have? It may be as simple as being able to smile and making people feel good. Some may teach, others can lead singing, others can serve, cook, comfort people, while others can lead, organise or have the vision to see where we are going. Some can give money; others can heal or bring peace. We can and must contribute.
We must reflect on what gifts we have. We may have several, but it is important to know that no one person has all the gifts and no person is without a gift. What is yours?
Our gifts come from God and He uses our life experiences to develop these gifts. Some of us have natural talents, others have learned much about life by what they have done or lived through life. People who have survived wars, cancer or tragedies develop new gifts. Parenthood, teaching or education gives us gifts which are valuable to others. Our gifts can change, we can develop new ones, that is why we must constantly ask ourselves about the gifts we have today.
Some say that they are just not important enough or too ordinary to have anything which would contribute to community life. Some may think that everyone has the gift that I have, so I do not have to do anything. Some are afraid to share their gift while others may be jealous of someone else’s gift and feel that since they do not have that gift then theirs is not needed.
Jesus, who have given us our gifts by the Holy Spirit, tells us specifically that we are, “the Light of the World” and our community cannot afford to be without us.
We must instead ask ourselves, how can I use the gifts I have? How can I better develop them? How can I better integrate myself into the community so that the community can be stronger because of my contribution?
What is your gift? How are you going to use it?