“And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14, New Living Translation).
To be successful means many different things to different people. Some folks consider having won an award success. Others believe that to be successful you should get your songs played on Spotify, a big promotion at your job, or your book on the New York Times Bestseller List. Some say that the true measure of success is to be able to make a lot of money at what you are doing. A more humble person may take the stance that to be successful is to have your work remembered long after you are gone, to make an impact on society.
As children of God, however, we are held to a higher standard than all of these. We are called to love — first, the Lord, then our neighbor as ourselves. How does that manifest when we are receiving a gift from the Lord? God gives His many gifts as a way of showing His love for us. He allows us to partner with Him in the act of creation, which mirrors His creative nature. It’s one of the ways in which He shows us that we belong to Him. When a follower of Jesus realizes this truth, it fills his/her heart with love for God and gives birth to a desire to please Father with the gifts He has given him/her.
When we use our gifts for the Body of Christ, we are sharing Father’s love with them by allowing them to join in experiencing His gifts. We are doing something for our brothers and sisters in Christ, showing our love for them by doing something to edify them, as opposed to simply doing something to please ourselves. By using our God-given gifts, we help to unify the Body of Christ; and when the Body of Christ is unified by this kind of love, there is no limit to what God can accomplish through its members.
Meditate/Journal on these thoughts:
- What was your definition of success before you came to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? How has it changed since experiencing new life in Christ?
- Think about your use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Then compare it to I Corinthians 12:4-11. Evaluate your heart motives in light of this passage. Is there room for improvement?
Father, You have been so generous with the gifts of the Spirit. Please guard my heart and mind from using any of Your gifts for my own purposes. Show me how to invest these gifts into Your Body in order to build it up.
~ Cathy Schrock, writer
~ Caitlin Spaulding, photographer, https://www.caitlinrheaphotography.com/