"Do not neglect the gift you have..." (1 Timothy 4: 11-13).
When Timothy received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, like Paul, he may have received the charismatic gift of speaking in tongues (languages) which would have been the normal initial evidence (Acts 2:4; Acts 15:8; 1 Corinthians 14:18). Like many of us, he did not use his gift. Problems arose which, Paul correctly concluded, were a result of Timothy neglecting to use, every day, "the gift which he received by prophetic utterance."
To neglect to use the spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12 8-10) is to neglect the Holy Spirit. Physical and emotional disturbances occur when we don't use His gifts daily; fear, crying for no apparent reason, heart palpitations and a burning mouth.
For any Christian, especially a pastor, the results can be devastating. When we stop using the gifts, we miss out on doing the ministry for which the gifts are given. It's true that the other aspects of the Christian walk (like being an example to others), are very important; the public reading of Scripture is important, as are preaching and teaching - but it's critical to use the gifts in order to meet other people's needs. We must use them every day. Those who have not yet received spiritual gifts will, as they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, please remind me to use the spiritual gifts you have given me every day. Amen.
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