We live in an interesting world. A world where “being included” gets tagged on to everything from making sure every kid gets a trophy just for participation to making sure people get basic human rights. And yet, the divide between people, the desire to not only separate, but rate someone better than someone else based on things like skin color or religious beliefs grows greater and greater.
Why is this? I’ve asked myself this question many times. And never come up with an easy answer. But I do believe in part, it can be attributed to the reality that many people can’t see themselves as created in the image of God, loved and valued. And when we don’t value or love ourselves, it’s hard to value and love someone else.
We spend a lot of time at FAITH talking about being the hands, feet and voice of Jesus in the world today. It’s important because that is one of the basic calls on our lives as followers of Jesus. But, it’s also hard to live out if we don’t see ourselves as created in the image of God, loved, valued and gifted to serve.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people to write down the gifts and talents they have and the response comes back, “I don’t have any.” When we see ourselves this way we are undermining God’s good creation that is us! Each and every person has gifts and talents. Things you love to do, things you are good at – even if when you compare yourself to someone else you aren’t “as good.” God isn’t concerned, I don’t think, with who does it “best”…God’s just concerned with are we using the way he has shaped and formed us to make a difference in the world in the name of God’s love!
In today’s world, where it seems the emphasis is on “everyone is included” but we’re living with lots of people excluded, using the gifts and talents God has given us to share his love, is more important than ever. So, take time today and ask yourself – what gifts, talents, passions do I have? (remembering you DO have them) and then ask – how am I using them to share God’s love in this world?
It’s important to ask…it’s even more important to live. – Pastor Jane Jebsen
** If you struggle with these questions, FAITH will be running a workshop called “Uniquely You” Wednesdays Oct 4, 11, 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. I invite you to join us on a journey of discovery of you!