Fan The Flame
6 “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Have you ever been camping? My Dad and I used to go all of the time. I always found the whole camping experience to be extremely refreshing. Granted, you don’t sleep as comfortably, and you can feel somewhat grimy after a few days; but disconnecting from the hustle and bustle always proved to be revitalizing for the mind and soul.
My favorite thing about camping was the campfires. They were always at the center of our trip – both literally and figuratively. We’d cook our meals on the fire, keep ourselves warm with the fire, and generally congregate around the fire. The trick, however, was keeping it going.
In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul likens our spirituals gifts to a flame that needs fanning. In some translations the word “rekindle” is used instead of fanning. Either way, Paul is trying to communicate the fact that our spiritual gifts can sometimes “lose the heat” they once had.
“Why do they lose heat?”
The answer: life happens.
God has given each and every one of us gifts and talents. The issue is, our gifts and talents are only as good as the amount of time invested in developing and growing them.
Sadly, life happens. We get busy. We have kids. Work gets hectic. So our gifts and talents take a back seat. Time that would have otherwise been spent fanning the flame, has now been allocated elsewhere.
So a week goes by with no fanning, then a month, then a few months, then a year, then ultimately the flame becomes an ember barely hot enough to toast a marshmallow.
Don’t Waste It
Harsh truth: if your’e not exercising the gifts God has given you, you’re wasting them.
Real sadness would be finding ourselves at the end of our lives, looking back, having wished we would’ve fanned the flames of the gifts and talents God gave us.
So what are you doing to exercise what you have in you? Do you have a gift that has gone untouched for some time? Do you have a talent that has figuratively amassed cobwebs?
It’s time to start fanning, because not only were you gifted something not everyone has, but the beneficiaries of your talent are waiting for you to get the fire going.
Question: How are you actively fanning the flames of your gifts?
For another great devotional, check out: “Be A Fighter”