“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings”.
That means no one else on earth will ever be able to play the role God planned for you.
Applying our abilities– We have dozens, probably hundreds of untapped, unrecognized, & unused abilities lying dormant inside us. The average person has 500-700 different skills & abilities. God has a place in his church where our specialties can shine & we can make a difference. It’s up to us to find that place. To discover God’s will for our life, we should seriously examine what we are good at doing & what we aren’t good at.
The abilities we do have are a strong indication of what God wants us to do with our life. They are clues to knowing God’s will for us.
Using our personality– Our uniqueness is a scientific fact of life. God created us with a unique combination of personality traits. Our personality will affect how & where we use our spiritual gifts & abilities. When we minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave us, we experience fulfillment, satisfaction, & fruitfulness.
Employing our Experiences– To determine our shape for serving God, Warren asks us to examine experiences from our past: Family, educational, vocational, spiritual, ministry, & painful experiences. For God to use our painful experiences, we must be willing to share them. These very experiences which we have resented or regretted most in life—the ones we want to hide & forget—are the experiences God wants to use to help others. People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in weakness than when we brag about our strengths.
“Experience isn’t what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you”-Aldous Huxley.
What will you do with what you’ve been through? Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others.
Warren summarizes: We will be most effective when we use our spiritual gifts & abilities in the area of our heart’s desire, and in a way that best expresses our personality & experiences. The better the fit, the more successful we will be.
Question to Consider: What God given ability or personal experience can I offer to my church?
I can offer my most painful experience, which I’ve regretted most in my life, to help others. It’s hard to even write, because every October I remember & regret the abortion I had 19 years ago. If only I had questioned myself what God would want me to do, the answer would have been so obvious. I can’t believe I accepted my husband’s decision as my own without a qualm. In later years only, when I faced myself in the mirror & remembered the death certificate I had to sign, did I accept that I was responsible, since I aborted not him. As the years have passed I have realized this was such a wrong action on my part. I live in a country where this is so common, and if speaking up saves lives, saves one life from being aborted, then I will speak up. I’ve always been pro women’s rights, but its been in the years that followed my abortion that I understand the pro-lifers.
If I could say one thing to women pondering an ill-timed pregnancy, it would be this:
Children are our gift in life from God. As the years pass, it is the one unblemished gift we give back to God, the children we have reared. When pondering whether an ill timed pregnancy should be aborted, raise your eyes & mind to God and ask yourself what God would want you to do.
* We will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. If you read along with us, please share your inspirations. There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in.