Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

March 3, 2010

Use It or Lose It

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am
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The first time we flew into Belize City, we noticed that the air strip was lined with tanks and other armory. We were concerned because this was just prior to the revolution in Nicaragua. Our fears were unfounded as we landed, and we were able to get a closer look at all this war machinery.

We realized that the equipment was old and had been sitting there for years. In fact, much of it was covered with vines and other growth. We were informed that this was abandoned equipment and obviously had been sitting there for several years. It was a good illustration of what happens when machinery is not used as it was designed. It was rusty and of no use.

This reminded me of a lesson I had learned on our senior trip following high school graduation. One of the places we visited was Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Deep below the surface of the earth there is a river in the cave. We were shown some fish that live in that river. They had eye sockets, but no eyes. We were told that because of the darkness, the fish had not used their eyes until they had lost the ability to have eyes.

Both of these examples teach us a lesson. If we do not use some item or ability, we can lose the ability to fulfill the purpose of the item or ability. If we apply this to our lives, we can translate that ability to a gift that we might have. Whether it is singing, teaching, serving others, loving, praying, or anything that we know in our life we are capable of doing, if we do not employ it regularly, we will soon have discovered we lost that ability!

Physical therapy is based on this premise. If we do not use an arm, for example, for a prolonged period of time, we could lose the ability of its function. We are told that if you tie your arm to your side for a prolonged period, and then you untie it, you will not be able to use it. With these facts, and the foregoing illustrations, it certainly behooves all of us to actively use every gift and ability that God has given us..

Jesus certainly taught this principle often. It is recorded in Matthew 25 that He told the story of three men given gifts or talents. When the day of accounting came, one of the men had not used his. He had simply buried it. This man who did not use his gift was reprimanded and the gift taken from him. I believe Jesus was saying if we do not use what has been given to us, we will lose it. 

Some of us question if we have any abilities. There is no question but that we all are endowed with certain gifts and abilities. They vary obviously, but think how blessed a church and society would be if we all employed our abilities. We can all start with what we know we are capable of doing, and it may surprise us that we will discover other abilities.

 “But each man has his own gift from God.”  (1 Corinthians 7:7)   “Do not neglect your gift.”  (1 Peter 4:10)  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received . . . .” (1 Timothy 4:4)

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