Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Once while teaching a Sunday school class, I asked the children if they knew who enjoyed the fruit of the fruit tree, the tree itself, or the one who planted it. The children knew that the tree produces good fruit not for its own enjoyment but for others.
If we apply this analogy to ourselves, we see that our gifts from God are not meant simply for our own enjoyment either. God’s word says that our gifts are for the benefit of all: they are “for the common good.”
The gifts we have indeed come from God, given to us so that we can use them for others. Unfortunately, we sometimes lose sight of this truth when we use our gifts to promote ourselves. Sometimes, we use them to chase after riches, recognition, or other self-centered ambitions. Then, like a tool in the hands of the wrong master, our gifts are not used for God’s purposes.
When we use our gifts apart from God’s intent, whatever we achieve will amount to nothing. But when we use them for God’s glory, we become a part of the work that the Spirit is doing.
It is my utmost prayer and hope that each of us can use his/her gifts to build up our church. Amen.