Gifts are given to us by God; more specifically, by the Holy Spirit. His operation in us is described, in the Bible, as being like a river of living water (John 7:38-39). Water that pools gets stagnant and diseased, but fresh water that flows from a good source brings life. When our gifts are allowed to flow as an expression of the Spirit’s work in us, and are not stockpiled for ‘later’, they bring refreshing to others and stop us from becoming stale.
There is a certain joy in finding and fulfilling the purpose for which we were created and it releases us from the inner tension, negativity or bitterness we can otherwise feel. At any rate, being busy helping others means less time for depressive naval-gazing!
There are many reasons why people can find it hard to use their gifts. Procrastination, waiting for affirmation or permission, and also perfectionism, are just a few. Of course, we need to be accountable and not just to be loose cannons doing as we please. But we also need to generate the flow of a gift by releasing what we have. Faith as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) is still faith demonstrated by good works (James 2:17).
When good works flow, our faith will grow!