Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
I Tim 4:14-16
This simple passage is a continuation of Paul’s instructions to Timothy, but we can see it as another set of basic life principles which could take years to fulfill.
Neglect not: Paul is talking to Timothy, however, when looking inward at ourselves, how many of us neglect the gift/s that are within us? Firstly, not realising that we actually might have one or some, or giving the time to find out. When the lord says ‘neglect not’, we see that as a command or positive duty to not leave it inside us, dormant, but to know it, understand it, and grow it to maturity.
Meditate upon these things: This underpins the above explanation of our gift/s. Meditating upon our gift, and the way in which we received it, whether by prophecy or the laying on of hands, opens up our minds to accept that gift and grow into it. Yes, in a strange way, the gift doesn’t only grow in us, but we grow into the gift.
Give thyself wholly to them: Then, like any profession, we commit ourselves to the prayer, education and searching required to develop our gift/s.
Take heed unto thyself: What do you think this means? Well, we take a serious look at both the good and the not so good within ourselves and, focussing on maturity, we direct ourselves by design toward the areas of the gift/s the Lord would prefer us develop.
and unto the doctrine: there is only one doctrine, and a committment to that is what the Lord is after, taking heed unto it and not superficially skimming over it. (2 Tim 3:16,”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness🙂
Continue: This is not as obvious as it seems. The lord is looking for an attitude and focus of continual improvement, as that is the only way we grow into the fullness of our ministry.
save thyself, and them that hear thee: What a great promise? When we are working in our gift/s, and they are at a stage of maturity or on the way, we become more robust and stronger in the spirit, having increased our confidence and relationship with our Saviour. The flow-on effect is that we become more persuasive and have a very real effect on listeners, as we are now working and talking in our sweet spot in Christ.