September 21, 2012

What Are You Good At?

Romans 12:1-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
—Romans 12:6


Living a balanced Christian life doesn’t mean being mediocre, a “jack of all trades but master of none.” Each of us has areas in which we are skilled to serve the Lord and his church, but in other areas it might be better to step out of the way and bow to others who are more suitably skilled.

In the third grade I refused to memorize the multiplication tables. Ever since then, I limped along without math. In my childish stubbornness I unknowingly closed the door to a career in high finance (maybe even astrophysics!). But I loved to draw with crayons and read books, and my skills developed more in the direction of the humanities.

As a minister, I stand in awe of people who keep the finances of a church in good order, who can look at a spreadsheet without becoming dyslexic. If I had to shoulder that responsibility, we’d soon be floundering in confusion. And some, in turn, would rather do anything other than standing in front of a congregation and preaching from the Scriptures. We need each other to be whole.

No one person has all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Everyone has some gift to lay before the Lord. In our preaching, teaching, encouragement, giving, service, leading, showing mercy, and more—we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to him.

Thank you, Lord, for your strength, and for the strength we have together as followers of Christ in the church. Thank you that we do not have to stand alone. In your name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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