Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blessing or Impressing?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

I Corinthians 13:1  "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."



Have you ever received something valuable as a gift, yet you didn't highly value it because it was given by obligation?  The gift becomes more about impressing you with the giver's wealth than about the giver's love for you.


Contrast that kind of gift with a silly piece of paper you probably have hanging on your refrigerator.  Your child's artwork is not worth a nickel to anyone else, but it means the world to you!  It's not about the gift; it is about the person who gave the gift.


I was just thinking about some people that I know who are supremely gifted.  When I think about each of these people, I instantly think about their talents.  I realized that I have not been blessed by their talents; I've merely been impressed.  There is a difference between blessing and impressing with what you have!


On the other hand, I can think of some very accomplished people who are a blessing because of what they have done with their gifts.  In other words, I'm not impressed, although their gifts are impressive; I am blessed!


The truth is, if your gift is impressing instead of blessing, you are a failure.  On the other hand, if you are blessing people while going unnoticed or unheralded, that's just fine.  The reason God gave you your gifts in the first place was to bless people, not impress people!


If the dominant impression I leave with you is how good I am, I have failed because I have not blessed you; I have impressed you.  Impressing you results in either discouragement (because you are not as good as I am) or a desire to be better than me.  Those results never help the body of Christ!


The gifts mentioned in I Corinthians 13 are impressive: "tongues of men and of angels . . . gift of prophesy . . . all knowledge . . . all faith, so that I could remove mountains . . . bestow all my goods to feed the poor . . . give my body to be burned. . . ."  Great gifts and even good things, without charity, mean nothing if they impress but do not bless!  The only way to bless others with your gifts is to be driven by charity (love).  Charity is something you have, not something you give.  How do you know if what you are giving is driven by charity?  Well, start with "suffereth long" in verse 4 and end with "endureth all things" in verse 7!  Are your gifts blessing or impressing?  Are you driven by biblical love today?

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