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“You’re Not as Bad as Everybody Says”

lightning leadReprinted from ReadyAimLife

“I think you’re getting better.” I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond to my latest compliment. I think my evaluator’s heart was good but her choice of words left a little to be desired. Actually, a lot to be desired. Fortunately, my ego wasn’t that fragile or I could have gotten really discouraged. But, I learned a valuable lesson in how NOT to encourage someone in their gifting. Especially, when they are just getting started.

Did you know that you are gifted? No, really! YOU are gifted! YOU are talented! Maybe you never made it to the gifted and talented program in your school (which by the way only measures academic prowess) but God has made you special. The Bible says, that YOU are the workmanship of God (Eph 2:10). The Greek word there is poiema, which is akin to our word for poem. YOU are a poem of God, a variable masterpiece. In the Psalms the Scriptures say that YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Ps 139: 13-14). And to quote an unknown modern day redneck philosopher, “God don’t make no junk.” Listen to what Peter say in 1 Peter 4:10-11,

10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

I love the focus of Peter’s exhortation. Not only has each received a special gift but also each gift has a special use. We are to serve other people with our gift. When we do that we are deemed a good steward of the grace that God has given us. Said another way, to use our gifting to serve others show that we understand why God gifted us in the first place. Our gifts were never intended to be used for ourselves but for others.

But, not only is there a direction for our gifting but there is also a power source to tap into. The speaker should speak God’s words with God’s power. The servant should serve with God’s strength. In the end, God’s work done with God’s gift by God’s people using God’s power brings God glory.

Early, in my ministry days I was exposed to a Christian leader who had been ministering for a while and he made an interesting comment that I still remember. He said, “My wife and I go to bed a lot of nights and we are really tired from serving the folks around us. But, it’s a good kinda tired.”

I think that is God’s intention for our giftedness. We need to use our gifts to serves other even if we get a little tired. Have you been experiencing the “good kinda tired” lately. Even if people doesn’t appreciate your greatness yet. God does! And over time His appreciation of your effort is the only one that matters.

New American Standard Bible . 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996 (electronic edition.) (1 Pe 4:10). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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