Monday, August 20, 2012

Using Our Gifts for Others

Today my prayer took me to Psalm 139, where I am reminded that God knows me better than I know myself.  Yes, God knows the very depths of my being.  The Spirit of God is not passive, waiting in the background, but is very active, and is ready to help each of us to know God, and also ourselves.  We can gather all the human knowledge we want on our own, but to know God, to know our true inner selves, we have to be open to the Spirit.  We cannot do it on our own.  Before God, we are always humble. 

So we ask the Spirit for help—the Spirit, always eager to help us. Then what?  Again, we need the Spirit’s help to know how to best use this knowledge and the gifts we have been given.  We are called to be active and eager, too, in our response.  The Spirit can’t use our gifts unless we cooperate.  We have to say yes.  Sometimes it can be tempting to see how our gifts enhance our own reputation or our standing with others instead of how they can be used to build up others.  I belong to a well-educated community, and when I am with them I guess I want to be admired as a person who can make a significant contribution to a group, and I sometimes think of how well I’m being accepted instead of remembering that all my gifts are God-given, and that they weren’t given to me so I could look good, but as tools to build up the community.  So today I am asking myself: how am I using my gifts for others, how am I using them to build up the community?

How would you answer these questions?

Marie Lucek, OP
Juneau, Alaska

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