I get these Purpose Driven Life daily devotionals in my e-mail every morning... and today's was especially meaningful to me. It's a life lesson that I've learned since Jason & Lindsay died and it speaks of what I have come to realize and know to be absolutely true. I have met so many people in recent years who have come from all different backgrounds... and I've realized that all of us go through a broad spectrum of experiences that make us uniquely equipped to relate to others. One friend of mine was raised in a very unstable, abusive and emotionally damaging home environment... but she emerged from that horrible past to become an amazing woman of faith! She testifies that she never understood why she had to go through all of that until she received God's grace and recognized the amazing gift that His grace really is! And now she is able to help people and relate to people who have been through similarly horrible childhoods or pasts and reveal to them the amazing gift of salvation through Christ. Not all of us would be able to relate to people who have experienced such a painful past... but because she really has been there and has emerged from it into a whole new life... she can offer real hope! And I think that is true for all of us. We all go through things that shape who we are. Some, like the Allens and the Cutshalls, have experienced a parent's worst nightmare... but whether our life experiences are good or bad -- we all have hope in Christ! And we can use our experiences to help others and make this world a better place.
Only one you
by John Fischer
February 14, 2007
Mister Rogers was right after all: There is only one you. But this information is much more important than to just be boosting your self-esteem. It is to help you better serve others by being more confident about your God-given role in life.
No one else fits your shape. No one else has your blend of gifts, talents and natural abilities –- making you very important in the whole scheme of things. “God made our bodies with many parts,” wrote Paul, “and He has put each part just where He wants it.” (1 Corinthians 12:18) And as it is with the human body, so it is with the Body of Christ -– the corporate collection of all who believe.
But this uniqueness goes beyond giftedness; it reaches as well into the depth of each of our experiences in life. No one else has your life. No one else has your pain, your hardship, your joys and sorrows. Everything in life shapes us and we are shaped by everything for a reason -– so that we can touch others in a unique way based upon who we are and what we’ve been through. God doesn’t waste anything in our lives.
Every piece of our lives and experiences can be used of Christ to touch someone else. We were made for each other; we live for each other; we even die for each other. We die with hope so that others who live might see the reality of Christ in even the darkest of hours. God uses everything.
Are you just getting by, or are you living for a reason? Think about your unique gifts and ask yourself how those gifts are benefiting others. What specific way is God using you to touch others in the Body of Christ? Do you seem to have an extra measure of wisdom, or mercy, or discernment, or knowledge, or administration, or desire to serve? These will help determine how you can look for opportunities to help others.
And then think about the things you have gone through so far in your life -– especially the difficult or challenging things where God has met you with His presence and power. That information is not just for you, it’s for you to empathize with and encourage others who have encountered similar struggles.
God isn’t messing around here. There are no accidents with our lives. Whatever we have received and experienced has shaped who we are, and because of that, we are qualified servants. There is truly no one else like you... for a reason.