Servants pay attention to their SHAPE.
Several days ago, I mentioned the five ways in which the light of Christ shines through believers as they express gratitude to God for all His gifts. These five ways have been summarized by Pastor Rick Warren in the acronym, SHAPE. The “s” stands for spiritual gifts, at which we’ve already looked. Let’s examine two other elements today.
Heart: When I was a boy, I developed several intense interests. I loved to read, write, and speak. I took an interest in faith issues and in the Bible. I enjoyed interacting with people and helping them solve problems. My great-grandmother, who died, when I was eight, unbeknownst to me, called me her “little preacher,” feeling certain that I would one day become a pastor. What she saw in me even then, was some of my areas of passionate interest.
Of course, one’s heart implies more about us than our professional pursuits. When we have passionate interests, those passions will also be expressed by Christians in our ministries of service, pursued in more than our 9-to-5 lives. That’s why, in addition to pastoring, I write (for free) for the local newspaper and volunteer for various community service projects.
Warren advises: “Don’t ignore your interests. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things.”
Ability: In the Old Testament, God said of a man named Bezalel, “I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft...” (Exodus 31:1-11)
Bezalel's "knowledge in every kind of craft" described his abilities. God has filled you with abilities, too, all given for the purpose of helping you play a vital role in the Church’s ministry of servanthood. Whether your ability is cooking, carpentry, accounting, musicianship, needlework, videography, financial investing, public relations, management, or whatever, it may have something to do with your God-shaped area of servanthood.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the rest of your SHAPE.
Bible Passage to Ponder: “Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it” (First Peter 4:10, The Message)