In my previous post which you can read HERE, I was sharing out of Romans 12:1-2 about the need to have personal transformation as the top priority in our lives before we jump into ministering to others. Please note that I am not advocating for perfection before serving, but I am stressing the need to have our priorities correctly ordered in that we love the Lord with all our heart, then we will correctly love and serve others well.
The purpose of this blog series is to share thoughts about serving. For me, this has been a secret to success in many areas of my life. Serving not only benefits you as an individual, your God-designed uniqueness is meant to be a strength and blessing to those whom God has called you to serve alongside.
Let’s look at three concepts to see why serving is so important.
1. What Part of the Body Are You?
In Romans 12 Paul likens spiritual gifts to different parts of the body with special attributes that require us to all work together to form something that can function well (Romans 12:4-5). Before you can do that, though, you need to assess what gifts you have. Romans 12:3 is a familiar passage, but the second part of the verse is often left out which is to soberly, honestly and in faith assess what gifts God has entrusted to you. (See Romans 12:6-8 for a list of the gifts.)
That word faith is key, because it is asking this question, “What am I capable of doing with the gifts that the God of heaven has graciously given to me?” Did you catch it? We don’t get to assess the scenario on our own, we have to put on the lens of faith to see God’s perspective in regards to how he has gifted us! When God gives you clarity on what your gifts are and you choose to fully embrace them, you are now positioned to begin to use and grow in them to be the blessing you were meant to be to the "whole body”. If you feel uncertain about what gifts God has given you, I believe one of the best ways to begin that journey of discovery is to be willing to serve.
2. Use It or Lose It
Got you, didn’t I? That is the great part about God, what he gives to his children, He does not take away (Romans 11:29). That does not mean that we automatically see the fruit of those gifts, however. They require practice and learning as God teaches us how to flow with Him. Serving, therefore, is God’s classroom in which He puts us in all kinds of different environments to learn how to use our gifts to serve His people.
You want to grow in your gifts? Jump in and serve. There are so many areas where great people are needed to come and serve in super practical, but important and meaningful ways. This also puts you in an environment where your gifts can blossom.
Serving is important because, when done correctly, it promotes a really important dynamic - relationship. Our gifts are a means to an end and the end is relationship. Primarily a relationship with God as we use our God-given gifts to connect others to, you guessed it, God. We also want to use our gifts in a way that promotes healthy relationships with one another (I will touch on this in part 3).
3. Relational Awareness
Honestly, this is a main reason why many Christians and non-Christians are not open to the gifts that we are talking about. Why? Because when we try and operate without relational awareness, we communicate to others indirectly (or sometimes not so indirectly) “look out everybody, here I come with my gift”.
I think it is healthy to do some reflection and ask yourself, “Do I use the gifts that God has given me in a way that people can easily receive them? Am I able to recognize the different environments and situations I am in to allow the Holy Spirit to use my gifts and release them where they can be effective no matter who is around me?
Serving others with our gifts and uniqueness is so fulfilling, but we need to remember that it is all with the goal of connecting other hearts to God and to one another.
In my next blog I will talk about the relational benefits of serving others and using our spiritual gifts.