Monday, November 02, 2015

Everything Is Now Ready

Melanie Rigney

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)

In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.  (Psalm 131:1BCDE)

One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.” He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.” (Luke 14:15-18)

Lord, help me to use wisely the gifts You have given me.

It’s a simple concept, really: do more of what you’re good at instead of focusing on how to improve the areas where you struggle.

In the business/human resources world, Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder concept espouses this. You complete a typical battery of questions, and you learn—or, perhaps, relearn—what your top five strengths are: Achiever. Adaptability. Harmony. Empathy. Learner. Self-Assurance. There are more than thirty, all told.

Paul’s message in today’s first reading from Romans 12 is much the same: Use your God-given gifts—ministry, teaching, preaching, and so on. We all have different gifts, gifts that come so easily to us that they don’t seem significant or important to us at all. And yet when we deny their value and fail to use them as the Lord desires, we resemble those dinner invitees described in Luke 14. We find excuses and rationalize why our presence at the table isn’t the most critical thing in our lives. When we do that, we waste our talents and displease God. Better, then, to offer gratitude for the charisms we have received… and put them to work praising the Lord and bringing souls to the Kingdom. Our presence isn’t optional. It’s vital.

Talk with a trusted friend or spiritual adviser about your gifts. Are there ways you could use them more effectively in whatever your current ministry or life situation is?

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