Equipped, Not Entitled

Today I am in Romans 12:3-8. In light of some recent conflict and how my personality played a role in the conflict, this was an interesting passage to reflect on. I was reminded that we are all uniquely gifted, and we should use our gifts to their full potential. However, we need to be careful to remain humble as we use our gifts since they are merely tools entrusted to us by Christ. We are equipped, not entitled.

What I mean is that God has uniquely shaped each person, and sometimes we can ignore how we treat others because of our personality shape. For example, I am a visionary. When someone talks, I immediately start evaluating what is being presented and think about how I could make the idea even better. My gears start grinding, and my thoughts jump leap years ahead. However, this particular gifting can also be used selfishly to simultaneously make others feel like their ideas are being ignored, discounted, discredited or flat out rejected. I became aware of this problem lately, and I learned that I must learn to communicate well since this gift is naturally exhibited. However, I am not entitled to allow my natural shape and personality to hurt others or make them feel inadequate.

The same is true for other gifts. Some people have strong personalities and they can dominate conversations and decisions. Other people are analytical and can make a visionary feel stupid. Some people are reserved and can make others feel like they are uninterested. But no matter how God has uniquely formed us, we must be aware of how our personalities and gifts naturally flow out of our lives. We must learn to use them to their fullest capacity while at the same time making sure that we are being constructive and encouraging.

Paul said to, “not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith.” The word faith can be translated trust. The gifts we have are from God and he is trusting us with them so that we will use them to build up others- not discourage or discredit them. When we learn who we are and what makes us tick and the things we are good at, and when we can know all that and still walk humbly, then we are being sober minded because we realize that who we are is from God and that there is nothing we did in any situation where we can claim any glory for ourselves. To do otherwise would be a lie, and it would also be dimwitted.

Socrates is attributed with saying, “Above all, know thyself.” Do you know who you are and how you are uniquely wired? What makes you tick? And are you aware of how these qualities radiate in your everyday life? Do you know how your gifts are affecting others, and are you being in your right mind by understanding that these gifts are from the Lord?

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