by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday December 6, 2005
The Holy Spirit’s Gift of Service
Walking in the Spirit is the key to using our spiritual gifts properly. This “walk” is a lifestyle of dependence on the Lord for purpose, direction, and strength. Having the gift of service means:
• We are alert to others’ feelings and needs. Interacting with people and serving them brings us satisfaction. If we live in the flesh and focus on our own desires, though, we will lose that sensitivity, ignore needs around us, and prefer to be alone.
• Our work will reveal generosity and flexibility. But if our attention drifts from God, we will think about ourselves first; inflexibility and minimal effort follow.
• Joy usually characterizes our work. Yet if we veer off course, we will feel put upon and unappreciated.
• Our steady reliance on God brings us endurance. If we depend on ourselves, we will lack the divine strength needed for godly service.
Spirit-led Christians who have the gift of “helps” can be misunderstood. Some people may mistake 1) their eagerness to help as pushiness or an attempt at self-advancement, 2) their quick decisions and action as a way to leave others out of the process, or 3) their practical nature as a lack of interest in spiritual matters. None of these perceptions are true, however. It is out of love, not self-promotion, that they do this. The gift of helps includes discernment and motivation to identify both needs and ways to meet them quickly.
Let’s be sure to appreciate those with this gift (1 Thessalonians 5:11). To whom could you say, “Thank you”?