Continuing our Spiritual Journey through Serving

In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.  So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  If your gift is serving others, serve them well.  If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.  If it is giving, give generously.  If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.  And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.    Romans 12: 6-8   (NLT)

I have always believed that self-esteem is a crucial component of finding success in this life.  I also believe that it is very scriptural as well as necessary for Jesus followers.  This belief became even more pronounced when I became a high school classroom teacher working with challenged learners for 18 years and when I later became a parent.  God, the Creator, has told us that we are created in His image and in His likeness.  If that alone is not reason enough for us as humans to have high self-esteem then I do not know what is.

We are not talking here about some arrogant sense that we alone as individuals can do absolutely anything that we choose to do.  No, I am talking about what the Creator built into us so that we could accomplish His plan and will for us.  And, I feel certain that we insult the Creator when our language and self-talk becomes self-deprecating (i.e  beating yourself up with words).  As the Scripture above indicates, God has given us different gifts to do things well.  The Bible tells us that, “to whom much is given much will be required.”  In other words, Jesus expects us to use our given gifts with excellence to serve the Body of Christ and to love your neighbor (each other) as yourself.

And, for a Christian, here’s where self-esteem enters the picture as a corollary.  IF we utilize our Spiritual gifts and IF we use them with excellence, THEN we will develop our self-esteem, gain more self-confidence, and increase the likelihood that we will continue to grow and will continue to use our gifts more and more effectively in serving God and serving others!  WOW!

Please keep in mind, that the only way we can truly use these gifts with EXCELLENCE and use them UNSELFISHLY is if we seek wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit and we use them to achieve the plan for which God wired us (His will).  I can further tell you from personal experience that, in SERVING is where you find true JOY!  You don’t do it for that purpose but it is an automatic and powerful by-product.  Further, if you want some help in uncovering/identifying your Spiritual gifts please contact me (Ron Pagano-Fuller) or Eric Light. We have a spiritual gifts discovery tool that is most helpful in uncovering your gifts, passion, and personal style.

Prayer:  Lord, help me this day to take some next steps in using my God-given gifts to serve you and to serve others.

Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble, and keep praying.  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.  Always be eager to practice hospitality.    Romans 12: 9-13    (NLT)

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