In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul writes a compelling challenge to Timothy. After rehearsing his memories of Timothy, his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, Paul unashamedly proclaims, “And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed–keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to by shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” In other words, every gift requires stewardship and leadership.
I want you to notice two things in this passage. First, you can receive a gift without owning a gift. Paul first said, “the special gift of ministry YOU received…” But then he followed it with, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with HIS gifts…” Gifts are yours and His. In other words, every gift is on loan to you from God. You are simply called to stewardship–to wisely manage something that you do not own.
Second, every gift has an element of leadership to it. How? Paul implores us to move beyond the shy management of our gifts and to be bold, loving, and sensible. In other words, lead yourself to use your gifts in ways that maximize their impact. Don’t let your gifts sit quietly on the sidelines when God has invited you to boldly play in the game. If you think about it, this really makes sense. The place where you will have the greatest influence and lead most effectively is in the area of your God-given gifts.
When we view giftedness through the eyes of stewardship and leadership, the opportunity to make a meaningful difference accelerates in speed. It’s the only way to move beyond shy giftedness.
Questions: Do you view yourself as an owner or a steward of the gifts God deposited within you? How are you leading boldly, lovingly, and sensibly with your gifts?