Every single one of us is born with God-given gifts, and God calls us to use them for His glory and to help others. The power of Jesus' finished work on the cross is what gives us the freedom to practice these gifts and to grow in them to our fullest potential. Because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us, we now have the liberty to serve God and others with the gifts that come from God.
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT) tells us, "Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath." Our gifts come from God and God alone and His desire is for us to use it the way He wants us to. When we use our gifts in any other way apart from His ways, we miss out. Here are three ways that we misuse our God-given gifts.
Withholding it from others
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 tells us, " Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues." God appoints us to a specific call not only for our benefit, but for others to benefit as well.
When we withhold our gifts from others, we mistreat God's gift to us. If you have a talent and can serve a ministry, your family, a company or an organization and have the opportunity to do so well, God is calling you to do so. We are blessed with gifts to be a blessing to others.
Using it for our glory
Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." We are given gifts, but they aren't there to glorify us but to glorify the source of all gifts. As we serve others and serve God through our gifts and talents, we magnify God.
To take the glory and honor from God is actually a form of robbing Him because the glory was never for us to begin with. That doesn't mean we are to live in false humility, but to refuse to live in entitlement and arrogance.
Refusing to improve in them
In the parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30), we see the story of three servants two of which grow talents and one who does not. We are all given talents and God wants us to grow better at them. To hide them and not use them for God and for others causes us to miss out not only on the talent but the blessing that is attached to it.
Whether it's because we're afraid or just unwilling, refusing to use talents limits God's move in our life. We were meant to improve, hone, and grow in our skills because it benefits you, everyone around you and even God Himself.