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Knowing Your Gifts

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”1

“However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.”2

J Vernon McGee gives the following illustration of humility of mind and adds a practical application.

The story is told of a group of people who went in to see Beethoven’s home in Germany. After the tour guide had shown them Beethoven’s piano and had finished his lecture, he asked if any of them would like to come up and sit at the piano for a moment and play a chord or two. There was a sudden rush to the piano by all the people except a gray-haired gentleman with long, flowing hair.

The guide finally asked him, “Wouldn’t you like to sit down at the piano and play a few notes?” He answered, “No, I don’t feel worthy.”

That man was Paderewski, the great Polish statesman and pianist and the only man in the group who was really worthy to play the piano of Beethoven.

McGee goes on to say, “How often do the saints rush in and do things when they have no gift for doing them. We say we have difficulty in finding folk who will do the work of the church, but there is another extreme—folk who attempt to do things for which they have no gift. We need to walk in lowliness of mind.”

When we discover the gifts that God has given us, we should be honored every time we have the opportunity to use them. However, we should also have humility to admit when something is not our forte and encourage those who do possess the gift to rise to the task. We should be thinking collaboration, not competition. Imagine the amazing things that could be accomplished when each member of the body of Christ used their gifts, not for selfish ambition, but to edify others and build the Kingdom of God.

Suggested prayer: Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Help me never to underestimate or overestimate these gifts and use them humbly for your glory. Help me also encourage others to use their gifts, even when they don’t feel confident or “worthy” enough. Let everything I do be done in love and to honor You. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.



1.    Philippians 2:3 (NLT).

2.    Ephesians 4:7 (NLT).


Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.