by Audrey Lee:
Apostle Paul certainly provided plenty of food for thought in this Chapter about how we are to live as a redeemed people in a fallen world. Paul reminds us how we should not conform to this world, rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds and wills. We are to remain focused on serving the community instead of serving ourselves.
When I reflect on this as a Christian in a secular world, it is a good reminder for how we can ‘do things differently’, and show others the benefits of being ‘set apart for God’s purpose’ while responding to an ever demanding world, competing priorities and seemingly impossible situations. God loved us first so we can show our love and respect for others.
We set ourselves apart by putting others first instead of ourselves. This can only be accomplished with God’s saving grace. God guides and nudges us to do the right thing each and every day, whether we know it or not. It can be as simple as calling someone you may know that is lonely, sending a ‘thinking of you’ message, donating your time, talents or funds to worthwhile causes or, simply taking time to pray for someone in need. Each positive action is a step towards fulfilling God’s purpose for us.
What is not always obvious, is how we can accomplish great things, when we work together with others towards a common goal. Sometimes we will have an idea that is worth pursuing and need support to make it a reality. Other times, someone else will have an idea that is important for us to support. God works through everyone, regardless of position, role or function. We need only to listen and watch carefully to recognize God’s hand at work.
In an article called Equipping Others for Success, by Don Flow, Owner and CEO, Flow Automotive, it highlights how by following Jesus’ example of servanthood, rather than that of being served; Christians can enable others to flourish while in service to the community. When Christians and Christian leaders use the power they have to do this, it is a way of expressing their profound love for others and acknowledges the unique giftedness of all people. It is not ‘power over’ but ‘power in service to the other’ that will help us to accomplish God’s purpose for us. Power used in this way, releases the God-given gifts of others, rather than stymies it.
God has a plan, we need only to follow it. By supporting one another, using our God-given talents, we can accomplish great things! This requires us to move forward in faith, trusting one another, follow through on what we are committed to do and allow others to help us along the way. I encourage our Church to carefully listen and observe what is going on around them. Look for God’s hand in things. Enable others to act on their great ideas and support their efforts to reach out and serve our community, rather than limiting ourselves to a single perspective or function. It is okay to ask for help. It is also ok to accept help when needed. We do not need to do things alone, we do better when we work together with others. This is called teamwork. God is asking us to be on His team and to work with others to accomplish his greater purpose for us. Praise be to God!