"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms"
(1 Peter 4:10).
It may not be the Christmas season as you're reading this, but let's go back in time or fast forward a bit until you're there with me at Christmas time. There we are in a shopping mall that's hustling and bustling with people that have waited until the last minute and are scrambling for both the perfect gift and the greatest deal. As you walk through the highly congested sea of humanity, you pass by the great Christmas Tree that is set up right outside the food court. Underneath it are scores of Christmas presents, all shapes, colors, sizes that are imaginable; each with ribbons, bows, and cards attached. As a child, you may have wandered what was inside? Who was it for? Did one of those gift tags have my name on it?? But of course, as you matured (or maturing), you discovered that those beautiful gifts were nothing more than empty boxes smothered in paper, glue, tape, and ribbon, all to give the appearance of something great. Yet, all it offered was emptiness.
Here's the truth. God didn't create anyone to be a an empty box with pretty wrapping on the outside. Each of us were created with something inside. Something useful. Something desirable. Something great! It's a gift given to you, but not just for you. It's God's investment in you for the purpose of turning that around and investing it in the lives of other people. Whatever the gift is, there is a purpose behind it. We honor God when we use that gift to benefit and to bless other people. How we serve others reflects the beauty of the grace of God. When we hide it, horde it, or waste it, we sell short that grace and the confidence we have in that grace.
God has gifted you with a purpose. Don't forget that. It was on purpose and for a purpose. When you realize that and when you use that gift, you are actually sharing that awesome grace of God. Let that truth sink in and motivate you all the more. You have been called to "be still and know that He is God," but not to be still and not be used by God. He has gifted you, because He knew that you would have what someone might need. Your obedience in heeding that call is what truly reflects your heart in regards to how you value, not just the gift, but the giver.
What has God given you to give to others? What experiences, talents, hurts, accomplishments, dreams, tragedies, or special skills has He given you or allowed you to encounter? You're not an empty box that is meant to be for display purposes only. You are high-valued and have something great to offer, to use, and to benefit others. Don't hold back.