Have you ever receive a gift and never opened them or used them? Why? Could it be that the box and wrapper is too nice you don't need to see what's inside? Or maybe the gift is too complicated, you are afraid to operate it and break it? Sometimes, you are too proud that you don't think you don't need that gift, you think you have it all, or knows it all.
What about the giver? How do you think he or she feels if you didn't open the gift, or even use it?
There's a story I remember about gifts. An OFW from Middle East told me about this a long time ago when email and gadgets are not yet invented. She sends so many gifts to her friend in the Philippines - lots of them from perfumes, soaps, lotions, makeup, bags, small appliances like cassette player and tapes, Betamax, nice pens and stationery because she likes to write. One time, the OFW asks her, how come you don't use the stationery I sent? I would love to see your handwriting in those. She replied, "Oh they are so nice to write on, I will just display them so that I will always remember you sent them to me." After 3 years, the OFW came to visit the friend, who by then already got married and had children. She was surprised to see the OFW but was also happy to finally tell her what she did to all the gifts she sent. She wanted to personally show her where she put the gifts - in a display cabinet, all of them still wrapped or in their unused condition. I would have cried if I was the OFW, imagine? She didn't use the perfumes on her wedding day, on the birthday of her children and other occasions. They would have "expired" by that time, it's no use. Betamax player unopened and at that time VHS was the in thing. There were no tapes to use for that player anymore. The OFW told her "I didn't expect that you keep all the gifts I gave, I didn't ask you to hide them so that I can come back for it later, but the gifts were meant to be used, to be enjoyed, the gifts were meant for you and not this cabinet." The OFW came with more gifts to give to her friend at that time but after learning about what she did to the old presents, she brought them back with the intention of giving to someone who will put them to good use.
Sad but true story. I know that sometimes we don't realize that we are like the OFWs friend and the giver is God. He blesses us with spiritual gifts that we just hide in a cabinet - still in unopened boxes. We think that the gift box is wrapped too nicely we didn't see that the real gift is still inside. We are afraid to open, or do not want to open, or do not know how to open. Maybe some thinks that the gift is too complicated that he cannot cope with it. Or maybe he is just proud and selfish, not recognizing that the gift is from God and he is supposed to honor Him by using these gifts. I have been in the OFWs situation before, discovering that my gifts were ignored and just kept hidden in cabinets. I felt hurt. To demean the gift is to insult the giver.
All men possess special gifts—bestowed from the Father above—and you are no exception. But, your gift must be cultivated and nurtured; otherwise, it will go unused . . . and God's gift to you will be squandered.
I hope that you will earnestly seek to discover the talents that God has given you. The best way to say "Thank You" for God's gifts is to use them.
God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety
of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that
God's generosity can flow through you.