by Shelly Burke, Editor and Publisher
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…”
1 Peter 4:10
God has given each of us unique gifts. Every one of us has something to offer.
Paul told the Corinthians, and by extension, us, that as there are many parts of a human body that must work together to make it function, so are we all part of the body of Christ and all necessary for it to function.
What is your gift? What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at doing? Do you feel like if you find a task “fun” it’s probably not what God wants you to do? God loves you—don’t you think He would give you a gift of doing something you enjoy? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 tells us that “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” While we know that what we do here on earth will never bring us complete fulfillment, God does want us to use and enjoy the gifts He has given us.
No matter your age or physical ability, you are a part of the Body of Christ and therefore have a purpose. I saw this last year when our church hosted its annual salad luncheon. Several of our members are elderly and don’t like to be out and about; they offered to make phone calls from their homes. One lady gets around with the help of a walker and can’t stand for more than a few minutes. She offered to take money at the door; she sat at a table to do so. One lady has painful arthritis; she volunteered to wash dishes as the hot water eased her pain. Those who enjoy cooking made several salads; those with good organizational skills oversaw the whole event.
You, too, have a gift to share, not only in church work but in your work, in your family, in your community. I enjoy writing and don’t mind talking in front of people, so I occasionally write blurbs for the bulletin about upcoming events, and talk to Bible Study groups about them. I enjoy teaching so volunteered to present new things to the nurses at work.
A friend of mine is great on the computer, so she creates posters for events. I know several people who are shy in large groups but great in small groups, especially brainstorming about new ideas. Another friend remembers the details of everyone’s lives and asks about the new grandbaby, or how college classes are going, or how tests turned out.
To figure out what your gift is, just ask yourself what you enjoy doing, and what you are good at. Pray for God to show you your gift, and how He wants you to use it. Every gift can be used in some way. If you feel your gift is minimal, remember that Jesus served others by washing their feet. Even the least-seeming gifts are important and useful.
If you’re asked to be part of an organization or help with an event, consider saying “yes” even if it’s something you’ve never done and don’t know if you’ll enjoy. You might discover a new talent!
On the other hand, if you’re asked to do something for which you don’t have a gift, it’s ok to say “no.” While I enjoy teaching adults, I’m not good at teaching children. When asked to teach Sunday School I simply replied that that was not one of my gifts, and offered to bring snacks instead.
Remember—God wants you to enjoy your life here on earth. Honor Him by determining what your gift is and how you can use it for Him.
Lord, thank You for the gifts You have given to me. Please show me how You want me to use them. Amen.