Step 8: The Christian and Giving
Stewardship of Our Talents & Gifts
God created us with a great variety of talents. You may be able to run a marathon, organize a group meeting, teach, or write. Your skill may be typing, photography, or painting. Perhaps you sing or play a musical instrument. Maybe you are a carpenter, landscaper, engineer, mechanic, or bookkeeper. Each of us has a unique function to perform in life and in the Body of Christ.
The Bible refers to the church as the Body of Christ with Christ as its Head (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:23). Just as your body has many specialized parts, each with its own function, so the church is composed of many individuals, each with his own special function to perform - and contribution to make - to the rest of the Body. I encourage you to identify your talents, and ask God to show you how to use them for His glory.
Every Christian possesses both natural talents and spiritual gifts. Our natural abilities come to us at physical birth and are developed through life. Our spiritual gifts are imparted by the Holy Spirit, enabling us to minister to others in behalf of Christ.
- What talents and natural abilities do you have? How did you acquire them , or improve upon them?
- According to I Corinthians 4:6-7 and Exodus 4:11, what should you attitude be about them?
- How would you apply Colossians 3:17 to the stewardship of your natural gifts?
- Major passages on spiritual gifts in the Bible are: Romans 12:3-8, I Corinthians 12:1-31, Ephesians 4:4-8,11-16, I Peter 4:10-11. From these passages make a complete list of spiritual gifts (combine any two that might be identical). Give your brief description of the gift. (You may wish to consult a Bible dictionary if you have one.)
- What are some reasons God has given gifted people to the church (Ephesians 4:11-16)?
- Why will two people not exercise the same gift in the same manner? (I Corinthians 12:4-6)
- Though some spiritual gifts seem to be of greater value than others (I Corinthians 12:28-31), what ideas does Paul stress to keep Christians from personal pride because of those they may possess? (Romans 12:4-5, I Corinthians 12:12-16, I Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4:11-16)
- List several principles that describe what your attitude and responsibilities should be toward your spiritual gifts. (Romans 12:3-8)
Follow these steps to more fully understand your part in the Body of Christ:
- Realize that you have at least one spiritual gift, probably more (Romans)
- Pray that God will make your gifts know to you
- Determine which of your activities the Lord seems to bless and inquire of other mature Christians who know you well what your spiritual gifts might be.
- List here what you believe your spiritual gifts are:
Seek to develop your gifts in the power of the Holy Spirit. Realize that you may have other gifts of which you are not presently aware, so excercise various gifts. Be aware that you are accountable to God for stewardship of your spiritual gifts.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.