Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Do You Knock Down or Lift Up?

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”  Benjamin Disraeli

I remember back in elementary school, I was not a very good athlete. I was the one picked last to be on a team. Groans echoed throughout whatever team I was on when it came my turn to kick the ball, or hit the ball, or whatever.

When I started writing, I had people who told me I would never be a good writer. I was stupid for trying. When I began doing artwork, it was the same. There was the constant knock down.

But we don’t ever see God doing this. He doesn’t tell us “you’re too stupid to write,” or “you’re too lazy to be in sports,” or “you’re too fat to be found attractive.” He never says “you are too selfish to be loved,” or “you can’t carry a tune well enough to sing,” or “you’re too much of a sinner to teach or preach.”

Instead, we have a God who gives us each special gifts. And he wants us to use those gifts. And it is not up to any human whether or not we are capable of using those gifts. God simply wants us to use those gifts to the best of our ability in service towards him and others.

We should not be putting each other down. We should not be pointing out each other’s faults or lack of ability in using those gifts. And we shouldn’t be a stumbling block for someone who is trying to figure out what their gift is.

Instead, we should be helping one another find our gift. We should be encouraging one another. It isn’t enough to share our own gifts with others. We need to uplift one another and help them hear God’s call – help them find their gift that they can then use to serve our Lord.

Just as God uses people to help reveal our purpose; so Satan uses people to distract us from that purpose. And, contrary to what some people may believe, Satan doesn’t just use non-believers or the “unsaved” (don’t get me started on that term). In fact, he prefers to use God’s faithful followers. I mean, who are you more likely to believe? Someone you know is a believer, or someone who doesn’t even think God exists? I know I tend to take the word of fellow believers over the opinions of others. So for one of those fellow believers to knock me down? To discourage me from my purpose? That has a greater impact. Satan knows this.

For this reason, the next time you hear someone singing off-key, or expressing a desire to write, or to preach God’s word – still your tongue from discouraging words. Guard your heart and mouth so that Satan cannot use you for his purpose. Pray to God for guidance in how you can encourage this person to find and use their gifts.

May the God of love and peace be with you all today.

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