Do you ever feel jealous of other people’s abilities and talents? Tandy Balson reminds us that God has given everyone their very own spiritual gifts, specifically chosen just for us!
Tandy Balson is a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, volunteer and observer of life. She is also a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Contact us if you are a truth seeker and need some answers.
A New Bible
My six year old grandson looked at the bible on my night table and said, “Can I borrow your Bible?” I told him he was welcome to use it at my house but couldn’t take it home. He wondered why and I told him that I read it every day so needed to keep it with me. When I saw his disappointments I asked, “Would you like a Bible of your very own?” His enthusiastic, “YES” left me with no doubt I would need to follow up on this request.
My husband and I went shopping for a bible that would be just right for a young boy. We were excited to find one that had pictures of super heroes of the Bible. He loved his super heroes so we knew this would be perfect for him.
His younger sister had a toddler bible and wasn’t ready for a more advanced one yet but we didn’t want to leave her out. We found a slim story book with biblical stickers that we were sure she’d enjoy.
A few days later we took our gifts and visited their home. To say my grandson was thrilled would be an understatement. He started reading immediately.
It was a different story with his little sister. She looked at her book, was angry that it wasn’t as big as her brother’s and threw it on the floor!
Her actions upset me and as I picked up the book I said, “Fine, if you don’t want it I’ll just take it back to the store.” This was met with more tears. She didn’t want me to take it back, she just wanted something as big as or bigger than what her brother had. It wasn’t until I showed her the sheets of stickers inside that she decided it was a worthy gift. Her brother didn’t have stickers so her gift must be better than his.
Different Kinds Of Spiritual Gifts
After we’d returned home, I was still upset at the spoiled child who threw our gift on the floor because she didn’t think it was good enough for her. That’s when God gave me a wake-up call. He pointed out that I have often acted like a spoiled child. Ouch, that hurt.
God gives each of us unique gifts and talents. Many times I have ignored my gift and asked if I could have another one instead. “But the one you gave her is so much better that mine,” I’ve whined. Or, “Why can’t I have talent like he has?”
Looking back on this, I’m ashamed of my attitude. I didn’t mean to hurt God, but that’s exactly what I did. He knows what is best for me and has given me the gifts I need to fulfill his purpose in my life. By asking for something else, I’m actually telling him that my plan is better than his. What arrogance to assume I may know more than the God of the universe.
Fortunately for me, I serve a God who is also loving and forgiving. He has seen me throw my little tantrums and pity parties. I have acted like a spoiled child. I deserve to be punished, or at least given a time out. Instead, he gently points out the error of my ways and waits for me to repent.
To quote 1 Corinthians 4-11 NIV: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
God Determines Our Spiritual Gifts
In other words, God determines what gifts we need and distributes them accordingly. When we accept this our hearts are at peace. In Proverbs 14:30 we read, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” In the New Living Translation it says, “jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” That certainly puts the danger of jealousy into perspective for me.
We are told numerous times in the Bible to love one another. If I am envious of someone I cannot fully love them. When the ugly emotion of jealousy threatens to engulf me I need to remember a scripture verse that addresses both it and love. Found in one of the often quoted chapters in the bible I read: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)
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