“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to
serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

1 Peter 4:10

It’s defined as favor by God.

It’s a gift.

It’s freely given and something we can’t earn or work for.

It was a few weeks before my eighth birthday.   A mission to find one of my missing toys had me searching every nook and cranny in the upstairs of our little townhome.  In a last-ditch effort, I quietly went into my parent’s room, quickly looked under the bed and there it was.

Not my lost toy but something much much better – my hidden birthday gift.

A working rock-star microphone and stand that even included strobe light effects – what every singer dreamed of.  I quickly aborted my lost toy search-and-rescue mission and ran out the front door to tell my best friends, who happened to be my backup singers in my rock band.  This thing was the best gift I had ever been given.  It defined me.  My dreams of who I was going to be when I grew up revolved around singing on a stage.  My favorite childhood memories I have are those gathered around my parents playing their guitars and me quietly harmonizing in the background, preparing for my future.  I knew that singing was my talent. My gift.

As I grew up, my insecurities overshadowed that gift and although it was still a big part of my life, it lost the spotlight.  As a young adult, I still sang, wrote music and of course participated in weekend jam sessions with my dad but the dream faded.   What once was a clear vision was now just a secret desire.

Early in my marriage, we started going to a new church and they did a casting call for auditions to serve in the worship team.  I just assumed that it was where God wanted me because well, that’s the only talent I had.  I sang for a few months on one of their worship teams and thought that finally, this was what God had intended.  Until that worship team disassembled.  At that point, I felt that God was just playing a joke on me and he got even funnier when he told me to volunteer for the kid’s ministry knowing that I wasn’t good with other people’s kids.  Like, so “not good” that my husband even laughed when I told him.

But that is where God brought it full circle and spoke to my heart about the gifts that he had given me.

He showed me that I wasn’t defined by singing and although that was a desire he had put in my heart, I had put it above him and above the true meaning of serving others with it.  I somehow thought that because I had this love for it, that if I used it, then I was following his will and living according to his plan for my life.   I didn’t understand that my motive needed to be checked.  And not a microphone check.  I didn’t understand how to truly use his gift for HIS glory.  And that’s because my focus was on me.

I wasn’t serving others for their good, I was serving them for mine.

You see, serving others can feel great.  It’s human nature to feel happiness when you do something good for someone else.  But are we doing it to seek approval or accolades from man?  Or are we doing it with the hope that God may be glorified?

God says if anyone serves that they should do so, so that in all things God may be praised (1 Peter 4:11).   When we think of grace, we don’t often think that it relates to us using our gifts as faithful stewards of it.  We have a hard time correlating that what God gives us is truly a gift to be used for building his eternal kingdom. We don’t just happen to be good at what we are good at.  God didn’t play the lotto when he assigned us our unique design.  He was intentional and purposeful.

Today’s Invitation:
My talents, your talents, are purposefully given because of God’s grace. His favor.  Are you being a faithful steward of his beautiful grace?


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