Dr. Meg Hart
The Stinky & Dried Up Lotion Parable
One Christmas, I received expensive lotion for Christmas. It was my absolute favorite scent and I was thrilled to receive it as a gift! I had wanted it for so long, and I finally had it! One would think I would enjoy my lotion and use it every day. However, I didn’t want to use it right away. I only wanted to use my lotion for special occasions. I didn’t want it to run out too fast and I absolutely did not want to share it with anyone or I would not get to enjoy it anymore. I put the lotion on a high shelf in my closet so nobody would see it. I vowed I would use it for that special moment when it happened. As time went on, since I could no longer see or or reach it, I completely forgot it was there.
Months went by, and one day I finally had a special occasion and remembered that I had the lotion. I found a step-stool, reached up to find it, dusted it off and was ready to finally use it. However, nothing was coming out. Perplexed, I opened the lid and to my great disappointment the lotion was dried up and completely useless. The wonderful smell replaced with a stagnant odor, and and it could no longer to be used. I regretted not using it the moment it was given to me. I was so disappointed and had to throw my gift away, never having the opportunity to use it, share it, or enjoy it.
If we look at this in the spiritual realm, many people go through life never using their God-given gifts or talents. They were so afraid to use them they hid them away. each day, week, month and year the gift was unused, they explained that the gifts would be used when their big moment arrived: the perfect job, the mega church, the title, the promotion, the relationship, etc. However, life went by and they forgot all about their gifts and talents God gave them to use, share and enjoy. Time flew by, and the gifts were neglected and forgotten. Sadly, when they finally decided to find and use them it was too late.
The gifts were meant to be used in the here and now, and now they were dried up and could not serve God’s intended purpose. Most tragic, of all there are some whose lives end on this earth never realizing their gifts at all. They are still hidden away: books never written, songs never composed, lives never touched, souls never saved.
The truth of the matter is that we sometimes get so fearful, selfish and even complacent at times that we place our gifts far away so we can’t see or use them. Did I not have enough faith that God couldn’t bless me with more lotion ? I could have used it, shared it with my family or friends and enjoyed it each day. When it ran out God would have provided more. However, I missed out ,and the gift was wasted and stinky!
If you have been ignoring, neglecting or hiding the gifts God gave you for the here and now, I encourage you to find them and use them before it is too late. There are so many people who need to receive from your giftings.
You need to rediscover, experience and use your God-given gifts because they come with an expiration date. We are given a set time on this earth, and God wants us to use the gifts now for His purpose. Get that lotion down from the self before it becomes dried up and stinky!
Reflect- Have you found some stinky & dried up lotions on your shelf of life? Do you have some gifts that need to be opened and used? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas and write them down.
Meditate- Read the following scriptures and passages: Matthew 25:14-30 Luke 19:12-28 1 Peter 4:10 Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the parallels found in the Word and in your life.
Act– If you have been neglecting your gifts or maybe have never even opened up the gifts God gave you, ask God for forgiveness and for a new chance to use them. Open up your gifts and put them to use at work, church, community service, with friends or with family.
If you need help discovering your giftings, speak to your pastor or ministry leaders and start with one gift at a time. As you continue to use your gifts, God will increase and give you more.
The things you tried to keep to yourself or forget about could be the very things that could change the world. Jesus will give you courage and strength! Don’t go through this life with dried up and stagnant gifts. Use them or lose them! Souls are at stake!