We Are Strong Enough to Use Our Gifts
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:14-16
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is teaching us many things about living in the Kingdom of God. These particular verses remind us that once we accept the word of God, we show our love and gratitude by living that word and sharing it with others to glorify the Father.
When we come to Christ, or when we have had one of those ‘mountain top’ experiences, we seek every opportunity to share our wonder and awe at the power and grace of God. We join Bible studies, we serve in the ministries of the church, and we practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer and worship.
But life happens. Work, family obligations, and busy schedules can creep up on us and get in the way of our devotional time. Our acts of service never seem to be enough to make a real difference. Our witness seems to go unheard. Nothing ever seems to be enough; we can’t solve ‘everything’ so we lose interest, overwhelmed with the work. We stop using our gifts to glorify God.
This is the sin of sloth – failing to do what we should do; either neglecting acts of service or an absence of interest in our spiritual disciplines. The sin takes root when we think it all depends on our own inadequate strength – forgetting to turn to God who is our strength. Like Peter, we only start to sink when we take our focus off of Christ.
However, if we renew our focus, when we are diligent in practicing the spiritual disciplines, then we find a new sense of wonder and we increase our dependence on the Spirit. This is when the Spirit can really work within us and with us to produce good fruit for the glory of God.
Prayer: Lord, remind me daily to keep my focus on you. Remind me that I am your hands and feet, but the work and the glory are yours. Amen.
About Pat Dodson
Pat Dodson continues to be a work in progress while facilitating a Sunday Bible study, leading the United Methodist Women and volunteering on Mondays in the church office.