by Kris Camealy
“Some people have a warped idea of living the Christian life. Seeing talented, successful Christians, they attempt to imitate them. For them, the grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. But when they discover that their own gifts are different or their contributions are more modest (or even invisible), they collapse in discouragement and overlook genuine opportunities that are open to them. They have forgotten that they are here to serve Christ, not themselves.”
For years, I buried my gift. Like the man in Matthew 25, I took what God had given me and hid it out of fear. Admitting this feels a bit shameful, because I have seen the fruit of spending the gift in Jesus’ name. I’ve gathered up words and prayed and shipped them out into the world expectant and hopeful that God can, and would use them as He found worthy so to do. But it wasn’t always this way.
I have always written. From the time I was a child until now, I have always written as a means to communicate, mediate, heal, encourage, explore, process and share. Even still, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that God showed me that writing is my spiritual gift (or at least, the most prominent one).
Because of my doubts and insecurities, I refused to claim this gift. Doing so felt boastful or proud, so instead I denied it. But as I began to study the scriptures on spiritual gifts, and the body of Christ, I realized that not only did I have “permission” to claim this gift, I had a responsibility to use it for God’s glory.
This revelation changed everything.
The Word tells us that we have each been equipped for the service of God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:27). We all have a role to play, a position to fill — something unique to offer. Yet, even though we know this, it’s not uncommon for us to still feel ill-equipped, unsure of our value, particularly among the more prominent parts and gifts of the Body.
As I further researched this, I believe this feeling of inadequacy is nothing more than an enemy tactic, a desperate, and moderately successful effort used to immobilize Christians in their efforts to be about Kingdom work. If we deny our spiritual gifts, and claim uselessness for the Kingdom, the Gospel message will not advance — or rather, it will, but we will not be a part of that movement.
Because I am a tenacious middle child, this motivates me all the more to own the gifts God has given me and steel myself all the more for the Lord’s service, by way of using my writing.
The description of us all as body parts is perfect because through that analogy it is easy to see how each member possesses something useful. While all parts are not created for the same purpose, they are all created to serve a greater function.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
(1 Corinthians 12:15-20)
Every member of Christ’s body has a spiritual gift. You have a spiritual gift:
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
(1 Corinthians 12:27-31)
Do you know your spiritual gifts? Consider praying for God’s revelation to know and understand His purpose for you in the greater Body of Christ. Wisdom is given to those who ask — and as you see, all parts have a special function. What is yours?
As a sequin-wearing, homeschooling mother of four, Kris is passionate about Jesus, people and words. Her heart beats to share the hard, but glorious truth about life in Christ. She’s been known to take gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations, causing mouths to water all across Instagram. Once upon a time, she ran 10 miles for Compassion International, a ministry for which she serves as an advocate. You can read more of her heart-words in her new book, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, and on her blog kriscamealy.com.