Your gifts don’t make you special; they make you responsible. They were given to you because you are already special to our loving Father. James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. Your gifts and talents were specifically designed for you, and no one else. Romans 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly . . . On one level, our relationship with God is individualistic by nature, which means everyone’s relationship with Him is unique. That’s why you can say, “God loves you, but I’m His favorite!” Of course, collectively we have a relationship with Him as one Body. John 17:22-23 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me (see also 1 Corinthians 12:7-31). Some will have the same or similar gifts, but they will be uniquely used according the individual. Nonetheless, they are all meant to work in harmony with each other.
Unfortunately, much of society tends to celebrate the gifts more than the person. This is more evident in celebrity and sports culture. Think about it, how many sports figures would be cheered if they didn’t have their talent? How many athletes get a pass off the field because of what they can do on the field. Nothing against sports or athletes, mind you. You can see the same thing in a variety of fields. If we’re special in God’s eyes, shouldn’t we hold each other in high esteem regardless of what one may or may not be able to do? Keep in mind that gifts work regardless of the character of the individual, which is subject we’ve touched on before. The gift does not make one person more important than another, nor does it impart character. If anything, it reveals what’s there.
This leads to the other half: you are responsible for what you have. Conversely, you’re not responsible for what you don’t possess. What we do with what we have does matter! Read about The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-29 or The Parable of the Minas in Luke 19:11-27. Each of us have God-given purposes, and those gifts help accomplish them. With that in mind, consider something Paul wrote.
1 Corinthians 3:8-15 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
We’re talking about earning salvation; we’re talking about stewardship. Not only that, we’re talking about co-laboring with God based on a relationship with Him, using our gifts to fulfill our purposes while glorifying Him. Do you know what is scary? People using the gifts they have to glorify themselves. Not a good idea at all! Please receive God’s love and affirmation for you, and don’t try to use your gifts to gain admiration or adoration. You are special, but you are responsible as well.