6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serv; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 11:6-8)
This may be my favorite verse from Romans. It speaks to each and every one of us. God has gifted all of us with special talents. But we get that confused with our occupations. We have created this world that requires many mundane jobs to run smoothly. There’s the water plant operator that comes in everyday to monitor quality of water and pressure in pipes to ensure we are getting fresh clean water out of our spouts. There is the warehouse worker that separates and stacks the same items over and over again, working as fast and as hard as their body can handle to ensure our food retailers have food readily available for consumption. There’s the chef that works relentlessly to prepare food for you at the restaurant who never hears a word of appreciation, and barely gets a cut of that 20% tip. The garbage collectors keep our streets clean. The computer programmers write code to power our ever increasing automated world. But notice how Paul does not categorize any “occupations” as gifts. I mean, even in Paul’s day there were carpenters, soldiers, doctors, bakers, tailors, jailers, judges, so Paul could have easily related the “gifts” God gives us by occupations in his day. But even back then, Paul realized we are not defined by our occupations, but by how we live.
Oh, how times have changed. We as Americans define ourselves by our careers. When you meet someone for the first time, one of the first questions we ask is what do we do? I know how restrictive this can be. I had an amazing, well paying career that brought little recognition or praise, so I never appreciated it. I used to hate the question, “what do you do?” Instead of letting my God-given talents define me, I let my career define and label who I was. So I never gave this career all I could like Paul advises in the verses above.
No matter what you do for “work,” whether it is a career the world deems “essential” or not, you have talents given to you by God. God gifted you with the ability to be a great motivator, to be a great teacher, a great talker, a great friend, or a great parent. God gifts us with the ability to help one another. Those are the gifts that must define us. And you can take that gift into any career field and help spread the cause of Christ throughout this land.
Reading plan: Romans 13
Deeper reading plan: Psalms 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Run a 5k for time!
Serve Day: Get out, get involved. Cities need to be cleaned, the broken need to be loved.