Matters of Faith: Managing the Gifts!

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

“The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray. 8 Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 9 Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10 Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.

1 Peter 4:7-10 GNT

No one can be certain when we will be in the last and final day of our existence. But most will agree that we are nearer now than we have ever been. Because of our close proximity and the finality of all things, are reason enough for us to exercise self-control and to be alert.

Peter tells us in this epistle to take note of what we need to control and the things we must bear in mind, predominant of all is the ability to pray. I describe prayer as the means of communication God uses for us to speak to Him and for Him to speak to us. When we pray, we should open our hearts to first share and then receive answers to our deepest concerns, greatest desires, and highest aspirations.

Following closely behind prayer is sincere love for one another. This version of the text uses the word earnestly to remind us to be intentional with our love for one another. Intentional love can cover a multitude of sins. In the secular world, we might say love covers many wrongs. Love touches our hearts and compels us to be hospitable and compassionate without complaint.

These actions are not natural to us, they are supernatural gifts from God. Our responsibility is to manage or be good stewards of those gifts. The charge is clear, we are to use our gifts for the good of others. When someone mistreats you, exercise self-control and love them. When someone hurts you emotionally, financially, or psychologically, exercise self-control and love them. If you are gifted, manage your gifts well. Always show love, extend hospitality and be gracious so that people feel the love of God who operates through you.

When times are as tough as they are these days, it is imperative that we manage our gifts with intentionality and purpose. If you are more concerned about your circumstances than you are about managing the gifts God has given you, you are doubting God’s ability to bless you and those to whom you extend your blessings. Be a good steward of your gifts by sharing them with others.  

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator/host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448) and author of Matters of Faith: The Book, an eBook available at

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