Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers. [Ephesians 4:11]
Spiritual gifts are not given to us but through us, to benefit the rest of the body of Christ and the world at large. In the case of the Ephesians 4:11 gifts, the people who fulfill the variety of functions are indeed the gifts themselves. Rather than saying someone is “gifted,” we should say that “he or she is a gift.” [Primal Fire]
I believe this perspective changes two things:
How we see ourselves
How we see others.
First of all, we are no longer just “workers” in God’s great plan that He’s simply handing tools (gifts? talents? skills?) to in order to benefit the people around us. It’s easy for us to think this. But it’s never been true. When someone is important to us- like a friend or relative- we give them gifts. But when someone is supremely valuable to us- like a fiance, husband, brother- we want to give others the gift of an encounter with that person. Because we know that they are so wonderful they will make someone else’s life better too.
You are so valuable to God that an encounter with you is the greatest gift He could give someone today.
Secondly, it changes how we see each other. We’re no longer looking at what talent they have to offer, but as a gift in themselves to us in that moment. If we are in this moment of time with them, then they are God’s gift to us.
What specific part of His heart can we discover through our encounter with each beautiful and unique gift before us?
I pray that we’ll fully realize how valuable we must be to God for Him to present us as His very best gift in this moment and time to the people we encounter today, and that we’ll also realize what a gift they are to us, and the world.
Maybe it’s just what we needed today. And perhaps…God has woven into us, just what they needed today…too.
So yeah…I’m really not gifted.
I AM the gift.