Sharing the gospel in the 21st century part 2
What, or who, do you think of when you hear the words giving, leading, and showing mercy? If you’re like me, you picture queens, presidents, judges, or wealthy people who donate their money to help make policy changes or save endangered animals. These people have influence in the world around them.
I don’t imagine myself.
I have a hard enough time influencing myself to wash the makeup off my face each night before bed. Best to leave these three gifts to other people, right? You know, people in positions of power or those in charge of entire nations.
Well, not so fast. As I opened my Bible to write this, I saw I was grievously wrong.
In Part 1 of this blog series we unpacked God’s gifts of serving, teaching, and encouraging. Today we’re continuing our deep dive into Romans 12 by examining the gifts of giving, leading, and showing mercy. And we’ll see how everyone can use these gifts to share the gospel.
The best gifts are the ones that you give to others.
If it is giving, then give generously
A family friend of mine has the gift of giving. He works 40+ hours a week, but still gives his kids the time and attention they crave. He spends his weekends playing and organizing music for church. When someone asks him for help, he gives it. And he is not only generous with giving his time and talents, but also with his finances.
Giving is one gift that gets a bad rap. Mention money and people tend to zone out or get upset. But stick with me.
The gift of giving comes from a position of strength and security. And it’s a gift that everyone, I mean everyone, has access to.
How? Find your sense of strength and security in Jesus–not your stuff.
Philippians 4:19 shows us, “And my God will meet all of your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” God’s love guards your heart and provides strength and security. It gives you the freedom to boldly give when others might not.
Putting someone else’s needs before your own is vastly different from what society tells us to do.
Instead of keeping your money to yourself, donate to help nonprofits in line with your values. Instead of being greedy with your time, volunteer monthly at your church or at a local food bank.
People will grow curious about your lifestyle.
This creates avenues for you to share your faith. You can speak to God’s goodness, peace, and love. And how God’s joy in your heart moves you to think of others first.
Important note: I’m not suggesting you run yourself into debt with your donations. Nor am I saying it’s healthy to ignore your own needs if you start feeling drained. Give out of the joy in your heart, not because you feel that you have to.
As you lead others, let your words speak God's truth.
If it is to lead, then do it diligently
Over the years, I’ve been part of a few different small groups at my church. Each group leader inspires conversation, guides our studies, and answers questions. Their level of Godly confidence is something I aspire to have. They know their Bibles, study the materials, and understand group communication. This leadership prevents disagreements or misunderstandings from causing a rift in the group.
God’s gift of leadership comes with the command to do so diligently. And it’s a gift that applies to anyone who has influence over another person or a group of people.
Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Leaders have the responsibility of using words for God’s glory. What you say and do shows people what living as a Christian looks like.
If you’re in charge of a team at work, you’re a leader. If you run a company, you’re a leader. If you have siblings, you’re a leader. If you have influence with your group of friends, you’re a leader.
This can sound intimidating. And it is.
Being a leader is an important role. But you don’t have to stress about leading alone. As you lead, allow God to speak through you. Let His wisdom, His kindness, and His motivation guide the people who are listening.
Forgiveness heals wounds instead of letting anger consume your heart.
If it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully
My grandma was a woman who loved everyone. She was full of kindness, and I don’t think she ever held a grudge. If someone wronged her, she forgave them and didn’t let anger muddy her heart. When she wronged someone, she’d apologize. And she would let the truth of God’s forgiveness free her from guilt.
Colossians 3:13 tells us, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
The gift of mercy is one that we all can apply in our lives.
God’s forgiveness prompts us to freely offer forgiveness to those who wrong us. It isn’t easy. It certainly won’t be fair. But it will free you from the burden of a heart filled with anger.
Mercy is a gift that blesses both the giver and receiver.
It is not simply a gift that only applies to people who are judges, rulers, or authorities. It applies to the mother who forgives her child for speaking harsh words in a moment of frustration. It applies to the employee working with a rude customer. It applies to everyone, and it applies to you.
Society says to hold onto the grudge, to plot your revenge. Be like Hamlet. God says to let go of the chains around your heart, and let forgiveness give you a heart full of grace.
When you choose to forgive, you connect people to the goodness of God’s forgiveness. And you can share how Jesus saved you.
The gifts God speaks about in Romans 12 are how we, as the body of Christ, work together to be His light in the world. No matter where you are in life, there will be ways for you to share your faith. I encourage you to look for ways to use your gifts today. Whether you have the gift of serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, or showing mercy.
Kimberly Magsig is the Copy and Social Media Coordinator for Kingdom Workers. She enjoys getting to share God's word each day in her work. In her free time she enjoys spending time in nature, trying her hand at cooking new recipes, and having friends over for a game night.