Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gift Envy

Maybe you have witnessed it in your own living room floor.  Your children are opening Christmas presents and all the sudden, one kid wants what another kid got.  All the Christmas joy gets stripped away when they start coveting each other's gifts and not being appreciative with what they received.

As a parent, you are a little baffled at this.  I mean, you know each kid better than they know themselves. You know what they will enjoy and really play with.  You know their talents and preferences.  You know that when you find the perfect Christmas gift, it is meant for that kid and that kid alone!

God told me I am no different than a child coveting another's gifts on Christmas morning.

It isn't in the material realm at all.  After all, I am a grown up, mature believer who should know better than to covet someone else's house or car or handbag. 

No sir.  No mam.  My coveting comes in the cloak of spirituality.

I covet others' spiritual gifts.

A beautiful and funny teacher got up and started teaching our class on all that God had been showing her.  She had stories that delivered the punch.  She was funny and engaging.  She knew God and His Word.  She made a difference.

All the sudden, I was asking God why I couldn't have the gift of teaching.  After all, it was for His glory.

A friend invites me in with welcoming arms, ushering me to the most comfortable chair while putting a warm cup of coffee in my hands.  She focuses the conversation on me and makes me feel loved.  Her home is a quiet haven of rest and joy.  She knows how to make me feel welcome.  She is the epitome of a perfect host.

All the sudden, I was asking God why I couldn't have the gift of hospitality. Couldn't God use this gift for His glory?

Another friend tells me about her trip to the park and how she started talking to the lady next to her.  A short conversation later, the friend has invited the lady to church who is now saved and actively involved.  This friend has the gift of gab.

All the sudden I was asking God why I couldn't have the gift of evangelism.  Talking to strangers is soooo not me, but couldn't God use this gift for His glory?

I read "Accidental Pharisees" a few weeks ago.  It was convicting on many levels, but this topic perhaps hit the hardest. It talked about how we can struggle with gift envy.  It set me free in so many ways, telling me that if God created me to be an introvert, then I don't need to upset myself over not serving in callings that require me to be in the public eye...you know, like teaching, hospitality, and evangelism.

I can stop the gift envy and start to recognize the ways He has gifted me...ways in which solitude might be a better fit for my gift than a public platform.  I remember when the book "Kisses from Katie" came out.  I felt like a heathen because I wasn't loving on children in some far off country.  This book makes it clear that if God wanted me to be a __________ then He would have made me one. (Fill in the blank!)

There is freedom in repenting of gift envy and thanking God (who knows us better than anyone else and who hand-picked each gift we have) to give me exactly what I need in order to bring Him glory.

What about you?  Have you ever wanted someone else's spiritual gift?

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