Using Your Gifts to Help Others
God created your heart for something magnificent. Depending on what you’re facing in life right now, that statement may strike you in a different way. On top of the typical pressures of life this past year, for many of us, it has been one of unimaginable challenges and uncertainty. When you’re in the middle of adversity, your heart can forget that you have a God-given purpose in this life.
You are created with a unique God-given purpose that no one else on the planet can do exactly like you. Peter tells us in the Bible that we have been given a gift.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Think about that for a minute… You have a special gift specifically designed to impact others. How amazing is that?
In a world where so many messages are thrown at us every day—more than our brains can really process—I want to encourage you, no matter where you are, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in, no matter the challenges you face, that you matter, and you have a purpose.
You were created by God.
You were created with a unique and special gift.
You were created for this particular time in history with certain people in your life to serve.
Mom, dad, sister, or brother, all the things you do today to serve another person matter. Peter tells us that using our gifts to serve others is the way God shares His grace to others. We get to be a part of sharing God’s love and grace to a hurting world.
Every kind word, every act of care and sacrifice, every encouraging text, every meal prepared, every dollar or minute given away, every way you pour yourself out for another person matters.
There are so many reasons and things that keep us from serving others, especially in challenging times…
FEAR… Fear of what others might think, or if our service might be well-received.
SELF- FOCUS… Let’s be real: just “getting through the day” takes up time and energy. If we give time to serve someone, on top of everything else we have going on, what are we going to miss out on that is more fun for us or meets our own desires? In times of challenge, it takes real intentionality to shift our focus from our own needs to the needs of those around us.
FEELINGS OF INADEQUACY... Often we can feel we don’t have what it takes to make a difference. Sometimes the needs of our immediate family—much less an entire hurting world—can feel overwhelming, and that little voice of doubt can creep in saying, you can’t really help, you can’t make a difference.
If you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or not sure what you can do in this season to help others, this message is for you: God is not surprised by your current circumstances or the way you are feeling.
I love this quote from Martin Luther King about serving others:
Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
What Peter and Martin Luther King, Jr. are saying is that you have what it takes! You can make the world a better place for others.
So, today, instead of fear...
Push past the fears of being rejected or missing out to instead love someone well today.
Instead of self-focus…
For all of us, the gravitational pull is to focus on ourselves and not others. Maybe start with thinking about one person that might need some encouragement today and come up with one thing you could do to serve them. (It could be as simple as an encouraging text message or phone call.) You never know, that might be just the encouragement and light someone needs to get through their day.
Instead of feeling inadequate...
God has given you what it takes. He has given you gifts that no one else can use like you can, and through Him, He will do more than you can imagine as you serve one another.