1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.”
In a book written by John Ortberg entitled “Living the God Life”, I read a story about “Florence”, a woman who was given a gift of beautiful china. Over the course of her lifetime she continued to collect other pieces to match; a piece or two from confirmation, graduation, birthdays, etc. Each time she received a piece, she would wrap it carefully in tissue paper and place it in a box. The box was kept in the attic to be used only on special occasions.
Unfortunately, that special occasion never happened. She never used the china, nor displayed it for others to see, because she was afraid it would get broken, chipped, or damaged in some way. The china stayed hidden until the day of her death. Even her husband or children knew nothing about it.
A little while after her passing, her husband called his daughter and told her that he found this box of “dishes”. He was going to get rid of them but noticed they were her favorite color — blue. He suggested she come and look at them and if she didn’t want them he was giving them to the Salvation Army.
Expecting to find just some run-of-the-mill dinnerware, she was shocked to discover the most exquisite china she’d ever seen. Each plate was individually painted with a pattern of forget-me-nots, the cups were inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and the dishes and cups were rimmed with gold. The china had been handcrafted in a Bavarian factory that was destroyed during the Second World War. They were literally irreplaceable.
The china finally made it out of the box. The daughter took them home and used them every chance she got.
I used to collect “Beanie Babies”. I had two big totes of them and kept them tucked away, thinking of the day when they would be worth something. One day I just realized they weren’t doing any good in the totes so I started taking some with me in a bag and giving them out to kids I would meet. I gave some to elderly women in nursing homes (they loved them), and at church functions I would freely let the kids pick out a couple of their favorites. They were worth so much more being shared than hidden.
Isn’t that what we should do with the spiritual gifts God has given us? We all have been given gifts but, oh, how many of us have tucked those gifts away and never shown them to anyone? Have you shared the gifts of love, compassion, and forgiveness? Have you told others about the wonderful things God has done in your life? Material possessions will eventual become broken, torn and worthless. The gifts from our LORD will never become worthless. In fact, they only become more valuable.
Don’t think for one minute that you don’t have any gift that can’t be shared and used for the glory of God. Each one of us, just by living our daily lives, can show others how God has impacted our lives and, more importantly, how He can impact and change theirs.
John Ortberg says it perfectly, “There is no tragedy like the tragedy of the unopened gift”. Giving the love of God to others is a good way to start opening up what you may have kept stored away for years.
Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
(This week our church will be praying for people along Water Street, Church Street, and Cloud Street, in the Jenners area. We ask that you remember them this week in your daily prayers. If you have any street requests for prayer please send them to me at the email below.)
(Nancy Stoppe of Jenners is affiliated with Jenner Township Baptist Church, Boswell. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)
This article originally appeared on The Daily American: Nancy Stoppe column about not hiding gifts