For the Joy

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

In January we tend to set goals, which I love. I already wrote about the best resolution, but another fantastic goal is to serve God with our time and talents. That’s a no-brainer, right?

It is unless we mess it up.

 

I’ve had many different service roles over the years, trying to find the best fit. As a young mom, I started by teaching Sunday School to Kindergarteners. I used to be a teacher, after all. How different could it be from teaching high school math?

Well, pretty different. More fun in many ways (they were so cute and so earnest about the Lord), but less fun in others (the crazy behavior, the potty trips). Though I enjoyed the teaching and liked the kids, it quickly became a chore and I knew that it wasn’t quite right for me. Next I tried the nursery and had a terrible time. I was going the wrong way!

Older kids definitely seemed to be more in my wheelhouse… and then the Lord called me into this public speaking ministry. Now I teach adults, and the fit is perfect. Every time I finish a speaking engagement, I’m so filled with joy that I can’t help but praise God for the work He gave me to do!

I’ve also found a way to utilize one of my hobbies for His Kingdom. Our church has a knitting and crocheting group that makes baby blankets, prayer squares, and prayer shawls for people for people who may appreciate a tangible reminder of God’s love. I work on these projects almost every night while we watch TV. I find it very relaxing and I love praying over the projects.

At church, I’ve fallen in love with serving in the bookstore. I love talking with customers, working at the register, and helping them choose Bibles or gifts for others. I can practically feel the “click” when I serve there: God made me to do this!

 

When I use the gifts and talents that God created in me, I have such joy in the service. The problem comes when I start letting myself feel guilty or even pressured into serving in ways that don’t align with my gifts. For example, while it’s OK for me to volunteer in kids’ ministries on occasion, I have to be careful not to get sucked in into to serving there on a regular basis.

Think about the different ways you serve. Have you been persuaded by internal guilt or external pressure to serve in ways that really aren’t a good fit for you? What gifts and talents do you have that you could apply toward furthering God’s Kingdom?

 

Take the Challenge:

Today’s challenge is to consider how you’re serving the Lord and do one of two things: Either decide to say “no” to something you’re currently doing when the your time commitment is finished, or say “yes” by jumping in a service role that gives you joy.

There are so many different ways for us to serve. God has a role for you. If you haven’t found it yet, try something new. Soon you’ll be serving for the joy of it!

 

If you’d like to prayerfully assess your goals this New Year, read this article on Goal Setting.

 

How have you found your serving sweet spot?

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