Gifts Are Beautiful
Let’s talk about something very practical. Jesus forbid titles and Jesus forbid bosses. But did Jesus forbid gifts? No, not at all! The way the Bible presents the idea of leadership or any other gift is that it comes from within and serves the Body of Christ. It doesn’t lord it over God’s people as a boss with a title would.
We discussed this with some others last week, so I’ll embarrass myself again. These brothers who have heard this before are laughing at me already. If I played the violin or the mandolin very beautifully, that would be a beautiful gift to have wouldn’t it? That would be a beautiful gift that could encourage other people.
If I was a very good violin player and you saw me in the marketplace, would you say “Hello, Violin Mike”? “Hello, Mandolin Mike.” “Hello, Drummer Mike.” Would you do that? Why can’t I have a beautiful gift to serve people without having a title? How foolish to call a man “Violin John” just because he plays the violin. That’s foolish! If you have the gift of Shepherd, no one should have to call you “Shepherd so-and-so.” “Pastor John,” “Teacher John,” and “Encourager John” is just as foolish as “Violin John,” right? It’s the same thing.
Gifts are a beautiful thing. That does not mean we need a title, a position, a boss, and decision-making powers. Gifts are beautiful, but these other things are man made. They are not even in the Bible, and we need to stop using them.
The alternative to man being boss and pushing Jesus aside is, “when revelation comes to the second, let the first one sit down.” The Bible says that. There is no boss but Jesus! If Jesus stirs Cathie’s heart with the Life and the Word of God, then “Violin John” needs to shut up and sit down! Why? Because Jesus lives inside all of His people. If Jesus is going to be the Boss, then we need to let the Jesus in each person LIVE! No little man has the right to put on a title and push Jesus out of the middle. No one has the right to take charge of where, when, how and what time we will meet.
I believe Jesus has put a gift in me because I believe Jesus has put a gift in each of you, if you’ve been born a second time. I’m not afraid of you having a gift or of me having a gift—I’m not afraid of that. But no man or woman has the right to control other people just because they have a gift. That’s because we all have gifts! If my gift is to be worth anything, then I need to encourage you to use your gift that I might decrease and you and the Jesus in you might increase. Jesus is Alive! Amen!
Let’s let Him live in us and through us by having the courage to use the gifts that are in each of us. Also have the courage to learn how to be quiet and allow the other gifts to emerge. The gift of Shepherd is a very important gift, but it is only one gift. What does a shepherd do with the flock of goats or sheep? He makes sure they are fed, and he makes sure that the wolves don’t attack and kill the sheep. But if the sheep are very well fed and no wolves are nearby, does the shepherd run around controlling all the sheep? No, the shepherd is fairly quiet and invisible unless the sheep need food or the wolves are nearby.
Three or four gifts of Shepherd might be in a roomful of people this size. But that doesn’t make any of them “the boss.” If God’s people need teaching, the teacher is the boss. The gift of Teacher with Jesus flowing through him or her for that moment becomes the gift of Jesus to God’s people for that moment. If God’s people are discouraged, they need the part of Jesus called the gift of Encouragement.