Last week I wrote about loving others as Jesus did by being humble – by putting other people and their needs ahead of our own needs: Humble Pie? How else are we to love people as Jesus did?
There is a story circulating around church circles and in the media about Terry Bradshaw (Hall of Fame and 4-time Super Bowl winning QB) playing backup quarterback at Louisiana Tech to a country boy named Phil. Phil was a good QB but football was not his passion – his passion was hunting and fishing. He loved to hunt and fish so much that he gave up his senior season of football and a possible NFL career to go hunting full-time.
Well you know the rest of the story – Phil Robertson started Duck Commander in 1972 and now is the world’s largest duck call seller. Phil has been quoted as saying “Terry went for the bucks, and I chased after the ducks.” By chasing the ducks, by chasing his passion, and using his talents, Phil not only created an empire and is a star of the reality show Duck Dynasty, he is now leading people to Christ through his ministry.
How is this related to loving people as Jesus did? Jesus calls us to use our talents, our spiritual gifts, and our passions to love others. Paul uses the word humble again in Romans 12 to encourage us to use our spiritual gifts:
“3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
We all tend fall into 3 categories when it comes to spiritual gifts:
- We know our spiritual gifts and use them on a regular basis.
- We know our spiritual gifts but are not actively using them.
- We don’t know our spiritual gifts or we are not sure what they are so we are hesitant to use them to love people.
If you are in the first category keep it up – continue to lean into your spiritual gifts and passions to keep on loving people. If you fall into the second category make sure you have enough margin, then actively look for opportunities to serve and then say yes. In order to say yes you may need to say no just like Phil did with football.
If you are in the third category I encourage you to take some time to determine your spiritual gifts and passions. There are many tools available online to help. Below are two – the first has a small fee and the second is free:
God has gifted each of us with spiritual gifts and passions that supplement those gifts and He wants us to use them to love people. 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit…”
In His Service,