This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. ~ 2 Timothy 1:6 (NLT)
These past few days, we’ve been studying how to accept and assume the greatness which God has implanted inside each one of us. Yesterday, we talked about step three, which is to train hard where God has you planted – whatever step in your faith journey that may be. Stay disciplined and train hard until the Lord moves you on to the next part of your training.
Step four follows a similar theme, but is equally important: Stay focused on the abilities God has given to you. These are called spiritual gifts, and God chooses which gifts to give to each person. The issue we have is that we look at others and their abilities and wish that wish that we had those skills instead. For example, I consider myself a fairly good preacher. But I have a lot of friends who I consider exceptional communicators. These men and women get to fly all over the world to preach to audiences of thousands of people. It would be easy for me to become a bit jealous and try to follow their path rather than the one God has for me. I’m also ignoring how hard God trained the person before they reached the maturity and skill level necessary to command an audience of that size. When we compare ourselves to others, we short-circuit our own training and try to take a path which isn’t designed for us.
Imagine this: An Olympic swimmer decides that they don’t want to swim. Instead, they have been admiring the athletes who do the high jump. So, they switch sports…and place dead last. Why? Because they aren’t built to be a high jumper. They are built to be a swimmer. That’s where all of their training has been, that is what their muscles are ready for, those are the techniques they’ve mastered after swimming thousands of miles over the course of their life.
The Apostle Paul wrote to a young pastor named Timothy for our verse today, reminding him to stay focused on the gifts God has built into him. He wrote, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.”
Every day stay focused on your spiritual gifts and training. God built you to be unique, one-of-a-kind. Follow His plans for your life and quit comparing yourselves to others. The greatness He has in store for you is custom made for you and no one else.