Last night my small group finished the book Soul Revolution. I can't wait to share my experience over the last 60 days of spending time with the Lord every 60 minutes..post to come! So even though we are finished with the book, our group is currently praying for guidance in what to do next. This was my first time to lead a small group (it was all women and we are around the same age) and in the car on the way to group, I was praying for an idea to come to me. I was trying to think of a way we could praise and pray for each other last night, as a way to conclude such a wonderful 2 months of fellowship.
I hadn't read ahead in my leaders guide but turns out that during our study, we were going to bless each other. We took turns in answering the following 3 prompts about each of our members.
We’re going to tell you about a quality or talent you have that we admire or appreciate.
We’re going to tell you something about you or our relationship with you that we’re thankful for.
We’re going to tell you about the gifts we see in you that bring blessing to others.
God had answered my prayers! And almost immediately! It was such a refreshing and amazing exercise. Not only was it uplifting and encouraging to hear words of praise about myself but to give those words was even better. It's kind of like Christmas, doesn't it feel way better to give a gift than receive one? The exercise was far from awkward and full of wonderful emotion. I found out that others see me as a leader with an infectious personality. One of my group members told me that she believes God sent me here as a prophet to spread His word...how cool is that!!! And I got to tell my small group members how I admire their patience, perseverance, self control, gentleness, and compassion.
We prayed that the Lord can help us cohesively be the Body of Christ in our church and in our community, using this gifts and talents that He has bestowed on us. How can we serve others and serve God with our talents- leadership, patience, compassion, giving. This verse says it perfectly...
"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage; then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." -Romans 12:4-8
Each of us was given a gift. A talent that must be combined with other followers to live out God's will, with Jesus being the head. What good is a body-less head? Or a head-less body? 1 Corinthians talks about the different kind of gifts each of us had, but that they are all distributed by the same Spirit. So no matter your differences, we are all God's children.
We took a minute to talk about our reactions to this experience. What was powerful about it? What was risky about it? How did we serve each other through it? And how we can impact others through this experience. And then it hit me...
Am I telling those I do regular life with how they bless me? Or what talents I admire and appreciate of theirs? Am I encouraging others to use their spiritual gifts?
My love language is words of affirmation. I've even had a few blogger friends point out that they knew that was my strong language. But am I doing enough of it? Is it meaningful and powerful enough? It is more than a compliment about one's vacation pictures or new haircut. And from today on, I am going to work on that. I am so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends and I want them to know what a blessing they are to me and the world.
So today I challenge you to think about your spiritual gifts? What talent did God give you that He wants you to use to glorify Him and set an example to others. I also encourage you to tell your loved ones how they are impacting your lives. Praise them for their gifts and encourage them to use them to be the Body.