Debunking the common excuses we make to avoid service.
If God could use Moses, who was not fluent in speech, and Peter, an uneducated fisherman, why can't He use ordinary people today?
Many feel they are not up to the mark when it comes to serving God. They say to themselves: “Others have what it takes to do this or that but not me.”
Believers have been endowed with distinctive gifts and talents which they should not bury but use for God’s glory.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10).
We should not wait till we are perfect in the area of our gifting before we serve. As we step out by faith, we will improve and sharpen our skills. It’s our availability that counts.
“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
Sometimes reluctance to serve stems from false modesty. This attitude – “I cannot one lah” * – is actually a reflection of how we see ourselves and a failure to esteem ourselves through God’s eyes.
We need to have a right estimate of ourselves – not too high and not too low. “Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” (Romans 12:3).
Another reason for not serving is failure to depend on the Holy Spirit:
“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).
We are all members of a living and interdependent body, able to minister to one another as well as to outsiders. This spiritual empowerment, made available to all believers, is in line with the doctrine of the ‘universal priesthood of believers’.
As such, leaders should – having identified the members’ distinctive talents – encourage them to develop further in their area of gifting.
Later, leaders should let members take ownership of an area of ministry when the latter demonstrate they are capable and responsible.
The need to constantly peer over the members’ shoulders should progressively diminish with time. We need to have faith in others besides having faith in God.
* In Malaysian English or Manglish.
It does not mean that there is no need for theological education, equipping, mentoring or training.
It is equally true that God uses those with credentials like Paul, a Pharisee well-versed with Hebraic law. But He often uses ordinary people as well.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELF-ESTEEM AND PRIDE?
STIR UP THE GIFT
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