By Not Known
Christians are often identified in the church by their titles, offices, and functions, e.g. He is our Reverend; that one is an Elder; he is the Committee Chairman; she is our Music Director; those are our regular worshippers and ordinary members. Such identifications invariably affect how we relate to one another in the community. Those who hold ministry positions and perform certain functions are “upsized”. They are the “gifted” and the “extra-ordinary” ones, while the rests are just “regular”. This is certainly not a healthy view. When it comes to service, how may we better relate in the Christian community?
1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
In context, the Apostle Peter teaches three truths for a healthy relationship in the Christian community concerning spiritual gift and service.
The source – Recognise that all gifts, natural and spiritual, are resources given by God. Whether we are born with talents which are developed for Christian service or endowed with spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit, we are stewards. All gifts then are for glorifying God through serving others, not glorifying ourselves, thinking that we are one-cut above others. God has the right to remove his gifts from us should we misappropriate them for personal gain and glory.
The servants – Recognise also that the variety of gifts expresses God’s grace to us. They are to be exercised towards extending the same grace to others. Servants of God are therefore administrators of God’s grace. So do not think that we are doing “the church” a favour when we serve. We are not indispensable. So do not expect favourable treatment or get frustrated at the “beck and call” of others.
The saints – At a birthday party, it is the recipient of the special gifts who is the star of the day. Similarly, the community of saints who receives God’s grace is the star, not the servants. Our Lord Jesus came not to be served, but to serve his people sacrificially (Mk 10:45). He comforts, encourages and strengthens them. The servants must do the same for the saints with God’s gifts of grace. They are special in God’s sight.
Are you a servant of God… then serve humbly. You are regular! Do not let others upsize you, or be discouraged from a lack of recognition. Be a good and faithful servant! God knows you by name!
Are you a saint of God… then start serving as your Lord Jesus has served you. You do not have to be extra-ordinarily gifted or be upsized before you can serve. God knows you by name too!
Let us indeed serve one another in the Christian community by name and with grace.