Be the Gift You Are

This week, the focus of Jurie's sermon was leadership, but not the kind of leadership most of us would expect. He didn't talk about the traits that make someone a good CEO, head of a university department, or leader of a volunteer team. The type of leadership we discussed on Sunday was that of taking someone gently by the heart and leading them to Jesus, whether for the first time or the hundredth.

Using the metaphor that we are the gift that the Lord has given the world, Jurie gave three steps for how this works:
  1. Be the gift you are,
  2. Let the Giver guide you, and
  3. Give the gift to those who are ready to unwrap it.
All of these steps are absolutely critical, but today I want to focus on #1: be the gift you are.

The apostle Paul reminds us that we each have different gifting and roles to play:
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Cor 12:14-21, ESV)
If you have been in church for a while, you've likely heard several sermons on this passage. Yet we still need reminding over and over. Why? Because we have a mis-placed sense of identity. Back on September 8th, Jurie spoke about humility. He said that humility is having an accurate view of yourself, in God's eyes. It is understanding that we are not God, but that we are worth so much to Him that he gave His Son for us.

Out of that same accurate self-assessment, take a look at your role within your household, your neighborhood, your workplace, your social circle, and your church. How often do you think, "Well, if I could be more like this person or that one, I'd be a better [insert role here]"? How often do you think, "If so-and-so were more like me in this regard, he/she'd be a better [insert role here]"?

I'd like to claim and redeem a phrase from modern culture: you do you. More people will be led to Jesus through your story of what He's done in your life, than by any theological argument you could give. Are you a single mom living hand-to-mouth? Tell the story of how Jesus is carrying you through the difficulties. Are you wrestling with God about something? Tell the story of how He listens and wrestles with you, yet still values you and loves you through the struggle. Are you in a really good place right now? Tell the story of how God carried you there.

God has called you to be His, in whatever situation you find yourself. If you're a wealthy suburbanite, you won't be as relatable to the poverty-stricken as someone who has just been lifted over the poverty line. If you're the leader of a team of thirty employees, one of those employees is more likely to confide in their peers than in you. You are where you are to make a difference where you are. Stop looking at people in other places, wishing you were there or being prideful that you're not. Look right here, right now, at the people sitting next to you. Now go be who God called you to be, right here, and right now.

Eager to hear more? Check out Sunday's sermon below. Have questions or comments? Share them below - we'd love to hear from you!
- Sarah Jo Smith; 10 December 2019; Austin TX

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