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How has God gifted you?

July 16, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Posted in: Service

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

I’ll never forget how I went about choosing my college major. I was sitting down to take my SAT’s in high school, and part of the introductory portion required me to fill out what areas of study I would be interested in pursuing in college. I went down the list and crossed off everything that I did not want to study, and was left with psychology. That sounded pretty interesting, so just like that, psychology became my major.

I will also never forget how I discovered what my heart really wanted to do. During December of my freshman year at UConn, some students in the Christian fellowship group I belonged to invited me to go on a weekend retreat with a group called Musicon, where a group of teens and adults would be learning and performing Handel’s Messiah. I had enjoyed singing Messiah in high school, so I decided to go. The first day was awful – I was new, nobody talked to me, and I felt alone and awkward. But the second day, another guy named Eric reached out to me and introduced me to others in the group, and I had a great time. By the end of the weekend I was invited to come back to consider becoming a staff member with the junior high group. I had only been following Jesus for a few months, and so I did not feel prepared in any way for the responsibility, but I knew there was something exciting and life-giving there, so I said yes. Through Musicon, and eventually through my time working with the teens at South United Methodist in Manchester, I found that I absolutely loved doing ministry with teens. The privilege of befriending and loving teens through a difficult time in their lives, sharing the love of God with them, and helping them form lasting friendships, brought me great joy.

Some people are fortunate to find a career that is life-giving and brings great joy. The majority of people, I suspect, work because they have to, because they need to earn money in order to survive. The witness of the Bible is that all who are in Christ have been given spiritual gifts – talents and abilities that bring life to us and blessing to others. This means that even though we may work in the most mundane, soul-crushing job in order to pay the bills, our significance can come through other areas of service, as we walk in the good works God has given for us to do. If you are unsure how God may have gifted you, the best thing you can do is to serve in various ways and find what brings life to you and blessing to others. For example:

• Give financially to someone in need
• Clean someone’s home for them, or rake their leaves or mow their lawn
• Teach a Sunday School class
• Join a community group and care for those in your group
• Write someone an encouraging note
• Care for little ones in the nursery
• Pray for someone who is going through a difficult time
• Share what you are learning from the Bible with someone
• Help organize an event or service project
• Invite a family over for a meal
• Go on a mission trip
• Express the truths and beauty of the gospel through writing, art, music, or some other artistic means
• Visit someone in a nursing home or in the hospital
• Use your skills and abilities to help someone in need

I encourage you to keep trying different ways to give and serve until you find something that brings life to you and blessing to others. God has created you and gifted you to do good works, so go out and discover what those works might be!

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