Faith and relevance in the 21st century

Category: Gifts (Page 2 of 2)

Taking the initiative to serve

Check out this post from Tim Chester. This has challenged me as I’ve taken up theological studies this year. What hit me was that gifts are for the good of the community, not for personal fulfillment. That may be obvious to most, but I needed to hear it. Thanks Tim.

Labels, labels, and more labels

I remember a story told to me once by some old friends. They had brought up their children in Indonesia, and when their children played with children from other nationalities, their parents decided to ask them one day what colour the other children’s skin was. My friends’ children said they didn’t know. They just saw them as playmates. The colour of their skin wasn’t an issue.

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Gifts, motives & ego

A million young poets screaming out their words, to a world full of people just living to be heard…maybe some day those words will be heard.

These words of John Mellencamp from his classic Lonesome Jubilee album are the cry of a generation of bloggers, twitters and citizen journalists. Everyone wants everyone to read their piece, their opinion, their take on the world. And the best way to do this is to promote yourself to get the most readers possible. It’s a ‘look at me…pleeease!’ world, and we all fall for it. Insecurity abounds as we clamour over each other for the affection of the masses.

Mark Sayers has written a post about his self-promotion conundrum. I too struggle with this tempation. I struggle with the fantasy of having millions reading this website and marveling at what a brilliant writer I am. My ego gets in the way of a simple desire to communicate what I think is some life to a world that is dying.

But then I look at the Gospels, and I see that Jesus never promoted himself. He never said “I’m preaching at the temple tonight. Come along and hear me”. People came to him. The common people heard him gladly. As one of the characters in Ben Hur said, “He speaks words of life”.

Jesus’ motive was always to do what was right. My pastor has said that we have nothing we have not been given. Everyone has a gift. We are all equal. What we have are gifts that have been given to us. So no one is better than anyone else. That means my gift is not to be used for my ego, as if it is something I have developed from scratch all by myself. It is a gift. I have done nothing to earn it. It has been given to me by God to be used for God.

Therefore, if it is a gift, I need to use it, to consider it a ministry. In my case, I feel strongly that the world needs to know the true message of Jesus. This website is a humble attempt to do this. But I need to constantly examine my motives. If I am doing this for my own ego I may as well stop now, but if I am doing it for the kingdom, then it is life-giving.

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