Recently we had to replace the mat on our trampoline.
It could be due to the hot scorching North Carolina sun that slowly disintegrates the material over time. Or perhaps the weight of ten first graders all jumping on the trampoline together for a birthday party wasn’t the wisest idea. (That was a fun and noisy day!)
In any case, a small hole appeared in the mat--which if left untreated could lead to a giant tear and a trip to the emergency room. So my husband diligently ordered the replacement mat and hooked it up.
As I looked at the empty box for the new trampoline mat lying on its side, I noticed a Scripture reference on the bottom. It was 1 Peter 4:10.
I hate to use the term “bumper sticker” Bible verse because I don’t want to demean any of God’s Word . . . but certain Scripture references are more common than others. Some of the most recognizable ones are (Psalm 23, Jeremiah 29:11, John 3:16, Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:13)
But when I looked over at the trampoline box, I could not recall what 1 Peter 4:10 was off the top of my head. So I looked it up . . .
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)
Hmmm, that’s interesting--I thought. The big “C” Church does not even talk frequently about spiritual gifts, so what would inspire a trampoline company to reference this verse on their product boxes?
I was intrigued, to say the least. Since I could not see an obvious connection linking trampolines and spiritual gifts together, I had to investigate further.
So I called the 1-800 number for the company to ask if they could tell me why 1 Peter 4:10 is on the bottom of their boxes? The answering operator took down my contact information and apologized for my concern.
I quickly corrected her misunderstanding and told her that I was not filing a complaint--I was rather thrilled with this company’s choice to attach Scripture to their product and pleasantly surprised by the verse they selected. I told the operator that I was purely calling out of curiosity . . . as to WHY, out of over 31,000 verses in the Bible, HOW did 1 Peter 4:10 get chosen?
Many times in life we ask questions and seek answers that are not given. This is one of those times:( Maybe one day in the future someone in the company will get my memo and call me back to reveal their inspiration for this decision.
Whatever the company's reason is, 1 Peter 4:10 is a good verse! It teaches us the importance of using our uniquely selected spiritual gifts to help build up the Kingdom. As God’s stewards, we are encouraged to faithfully operate in the gifts that He has given to us, in order to serve others.
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)
“To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT)
Have you discovered your spiritual gifts? They may not be as obvious and easy as opening a physical present in a gift box (or a trampoline box), but once uncovered and activated, the recipient has the spiritual power to help change this world!