Every person who is in the body of Christ has a gift given by the Spirit. I believe that this gift is something that you receive in full once you have believed. I believe we grow into the gift because we are still in the flesh and we must persevere and go on to maturity and grow. The gift we have been given is there in full urging us on because it is the Spirit urging us and moving us in the right direction.
Some of this is where, I believe, we can grieve the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:29). I believe that when we quit growing in that gift and quit continuing in maturity we quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). I think these apply to our gifting as well as our Christian walk in general. If we are not growing into the gift that is already inside us then it is equally true that we are not growing in our Christian walk and life either.
We see Paul exhorting Timothy in a couple of instances to grow and go on with the gift given him. In 1 Timothy 4:14–15 Paul tells him, “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you” he is to “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.”
Paul wanted Timothy to grow into the gift given him so others could see. This is not for showmanship or bragging rights. Not at all. It is for the upbuilding and strengthening of those around him in the ministry he is in. They see him growing and continuing to strive forward and it encourages them also.
Another instance is in 2 Timothy 1:6–7 Paul telling him to, “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Timothy was to fan into flame. This means to ramp it up. To continue to grow and utilize the gift given him. He was to actively utilize this gift for those around him. Hence Paul telling him that we have a spirit, not of fear but power and love and self-control.
We are to boldly use our gifts for the work Christ has for us. We do this with the power of the Holy Spirit who gave the gift and who is still inside us. This is all done in love for other people and not for a means to hurt or demoralize them.
We use our gifts for the Lord and the uplifting of others not to bring them down. We also do it in self-control. This means we do not become arrogant or haughty. We stay lowly and humble even if we become the most talented and gifted person around. Our self-control is to be exercised and we are to keep humility.
When we strive to use the gift given us, we are stewarding our gifts. When we strive to grow in the gift given us, we are stewarding our gift. When we do not look down on others and stay humble and serve with love, we are stewarding our gifts. We must remember that all believers are part of the body and have a purpose (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:12-31). Not a one of us is any better than another.
Without the foot, the body struggles to walk. Without an eye, the body struggles to see. Without a toe, the body struggles to maintain balance. Every part has a purpose and every purpose is just as important to the proper functioning of the body. This is something that we all must remember and put into use right if we want to see the body functioning as a whole and not splintered.