Wow, it’s been nearly three weeks since my last blog post. I’ve come up with a lot of things to talk about, but none of them had enough passion behind them to warrant a complete blog. However, I was recently listening to a song by Matthew West called “My Own Little World.” It’s a pretty good song, and I recommend you listen to it. It reminded me of something I do feel incredibly passionate about. Just in case you haven’t heard the song, or want to hear it again, here it is:
I’ve come to really like this song. As you can see in the video, the man who is discovering himself starts out completely consumed with his own welfare and satisfaction. He put money in the offering plate because he didn’t have to feel guilty, but he didn’t give anything beyond a “comfortable amount.” He would watch the news until the news made him uncomfortable and then would turn it off so that he could remain ignorant of anything going on in the world that might upset him – thus releasing him of guilt for not helping.
The song moves on to a point when the man realizes that what he’s been doing has not only been unhelpful to the world, but also inhibiting for himself. You see, God gives us all our own unique Spiritual gifts, and when those Spiritual gifts go unused, our lives as Christians are unfulfilled. Paul says it this way:
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8
As Christians, we can’t merely look out for ourselves, ignoring what God has called us to do. We have to continue our discipleship with Christ by taking every opportunity God gives us to use His gifts.
This occurs in the reverse as well. Notice Paul says over and over again in these three verses “let him” – as in don’t hinder someone from utilizing their Spiritual gifts. So Paul makes two points: Don’t hide your God-given Spiritual gifts and don’t hinder others from using their Spiritual gifts – instead utilize your Spiritual gifts to their highest potential and encourage others to do likewise.
Now, I’m going to use this moment to speak on a topic that everyone is tired of. The whole Joseph Kony/Invisible Children thing got blown way out of proportion. I’m sure most of you have already seen the video, but just in case you didn’t see the 30-minute controversial movie, here you go:
Immediately after the release of this video, the nation took sides. Some people jumped on the Kony Awareness bandwagon and liked statuses everywhere. A large number of other people decided that this was either a farce to get money, or a worthless cause, or old news and pursued a route of opposition, and for good reason too. Just recently we found the creator of this video dancing nearly naked in the streets – obviously this corporation has some skeletons. Regardless, I myself choose a route of support, but I’m not here to explain my reasoning for why everyone should support this cause. I’m just wanting to mention two things. First, people who truly have a heart for this issue, should not let themselves be discouraged by all the negativity surrounding Invisible Children and Kony 2012 – this negativity is directed only at Invisible Children not at the supporters of the cause. Secondly, make sure, this stays that way – don’t criticize those who truly support the cause of Kony 2012 just because of the shortcomings of Invisible Children. Now that’s enough of that, because honestly, the issue is really getting old really fast, and it’s only been 10 days since the viral release of the above video.
My purpose with this blog was to simply discuss how as Christians we must utilize our Spiritual gifts to their fullest potential and encourage fellow Christians to do likewise. Keeping to ourselves and trying to hide from our duty to God is nothing but detrimental to ourselves and the church. Additionally, preventing one another from attaining this goal is just as, if not more detrimental.
Now, I really want to tell you guys some exciting news for myself. If I had to choose one item from the list of Spiritual gifts spoken about by Paul in the Romans verse above, it would be contributing to the needs of others. My passion in life is helping other people, especially those who can’t help themselves. That’s why i am in support of the Kony 2012 campaign, no matter how corrupt it may be. However, I’ve additionally decided to go to Honduras this summer for a week of wonderful labor helping build a school for an orphanage in the northern area of the country through a program called Students Helping Honduras. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this opportunity. As some of you know, I went to Honduras almost 4 years ago for a week and a half, helping build a drainage ditch for a new school that was part of the orphanage La Providencia as well as performing a 4-day VBS for some of the children of Siguatepeque. Ever since returning (a few days early due to a political coup) from that trip, I have longed to go back. A few days ago, I was given the opportunity to join a group of students from here at the University of Texas at Dallas going to Honduras again. After prayer from myself and my family, I feel that this is exactly what I need to do. I am incredibly excited, as I have already stated several times, and praise God for giving me this opportunity.
Now I ask for your help. Not only do I need prayer for the safety and success of the students on this trip and the trip itself, but I also need prayer for coming up with the funds for this trip. It’s going to be somewhere between $1150 and $1250 which is relatively cheap for a trip like this, but still expensive for a full time college student with a job at la Madeleine. I don’t know how I’m going to come up with these funds, but I know that God will find a way, if He really does want me going to Honduras in May. If you would like to help me financially, it would be much appreciated. You can reach me via facebook messaging if you would like to reach me there. Or you can email me at email@example.com. However, I am not asking anything more from you than prayer and spiritual support.
Thanks so much for listening to what I have to say. I hope that it’s not all just a bunch of gibberish to you. I know sometimes it feels like I’m not descriptive enough about what I’m trying to say, so if you have any question for me, feel free to ask. I would love to answer questions. I would even like to discuss the overdone subject of Joseph Kony and Invisible Children if you wish to discuss that, because I can most certainly give you my reasoning why support for that cause is still worthwhile. I pray that as you go through this week, you will find joy in life and discover something new about yourself.