1 Corinthians 12:28-31a
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Devotion by Julia Shiver
One of my jobs as a deacon is helping people find their gifts and how to use them to the service of God. What has God gifted you with and how can that be used, within and without the church? Finding my own gifts was a long process. I was a very sensitive child growing up, attuned to every nuance in the adults around me. It was overwhelming at times. My family was very good at appearing as if everything was okay, which meant not openly dealing with issues. But I was a little sponge, soaking it all up, but not understanding what was happening around me. And then everyone wondered why I was acting out in response to it all!
But now, after many years (and much therapy), I can use that sensitivity, the empathy and compassion that comes with it, to really hear what others are trying to say to me, whether they use words or not. I have also learned to be very careful in how much I let in. I still have to work at not internalizing the struggles of others, the tensions within the church, the difficulties in the world around me. Being so sensitive has come with its share of pain over the years. But learning how to use it to serve God, while letting God take the burden of other’s cares and pain, is one of the great joys of my life.
Thank you for the gifts you have given me. May I always use them so that others can find their gifts and ways to use them. And may all I do glorify you. Amen.