My 17-year-old daughter had a piano recital. She has been taking lessons since she was around 7. She is one of the oldest students with her current teacher. Before the recital, we talked about why even do a recital. I told her for the young children (6-12 was the age range) it teaches them to perform, to speak in public and to share their talents. For her, however, the purpose was to inspire the younger kids. They hear what she can play and how well she presents herself on stage and they can aspire to do that in the future.
Sometimes in life, we do things that are purely for the benefit of others. This recital was that for my daughter. What are you involved in right now that benefits others more than you? Most things we do, we get something out of it. The joy of serving others is truly a benefit. Sometimes we get paid for our service with a gift card to Starbucks or a thank you card. Self-sacrifice, in my opinion, is any time we serve and others benefit more.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to share about God’s desire to spend time with us. I did get quite a bit out of it. A tea time with daughters, friends and new acquaintances, an excuse to dress up and wear a hat, the joy of using my talents for God, an opportunity to sing and financial payment. I got a lot out of this. I believe the attendees benefitted as well. I hope they did. I’m not sure how to weigh the benefit scale, but I don’t know if that’s necessary. I don’t view the day as self-sacrifice. I truly received much in return. Also, I did it because it was what God calls me to do – share His love with others whenever I can and to use my gifts and talents to do it.
I Peter 4:10-11 NIV
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
What are the gifts and talents you use to serve others? If you aren’t doing anything, start now. The passage in 1 Peter says that our strength comes from God when we serve. When you don’t feel qualified or equipped to do what’s in front of you, God will provide.
Look at your life this past week. See if you had experiences where you served but were unaware. My daughter’s recital didn’t seem like a place of service. Yet when we thought about why she was there, we found her using her gifts to encourage others. Take some time to evaluate those hidden places of service. Also, make an effort to start some intentional areas of service. God has uniquely made you to reach people in areas others can’t. He will reveal those places of service to you as you begin to look at your life more closely and seek places to give.
Dream Big! Pray Big!