Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.1 Timothy 4:14 NIV
What Timothy’s specific gift was is not clear from this passage. Nor is it clear what the significance is of the way it was given through prophecy and the laying on of the elder’s hands. Gifts are elsewhere described as being given by God. So it may be that this is describing more of a confirmation or ordination, a setting aside for service, rather than the actual gift-giving itself.
But whatever the significance of the rest of the verse, Paul’s instruction to Timothy is applicable to all of us. “Do not neglect your gift.” According to 1 Corinthians 12:7, each of us within the body of Christ has been gifted. We have been equipped to serve some role within the body.
Many assume that because they can’t preach, teach, or sing, they are not gifted. But the body is much more than a passive collection of people being entertained by speakers and musicians. It is a living organism with many working parts necessary for its health and success as a body. And each of us has a God-given role to fill within that body.
If you fail to exercise your gift, then you are hurting the body, and yourself as a member of that body. The body is built up as each part does its work (Eph. 4:16). So don’t neglect your gift. Discover it if needed. And find a way to incorporate your gift(s) within the life of the body. If God has given it to you, it is for a reason. And the body needs it.