Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in it's various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Many years ago one of my mentors coined the phrase "Love, serve and give to others, out of your own abundance." I can remember the first time I heard this charge and how it resonated deeply in my heart. For over a decade now this has been a thought that I have returned to on a regular basis.
In many situations in life, whether it be at home, in the workplace or in the community, a foundation built on the desire to serve others has brought much joy, satisfaction and success into my life. Because of this understanding and living from this principle, I have been able to witness God at work in my life and those around me.
In a world filled with "what have you done for me lately" thinking, living with a servant's heart can be challenging and frustrating at times. The key to this principle to me is to do it out of my own abundance, or, within my own capacity.
As the scripture verse states, we have all been given great gifts and talents from God to use to serve one another. Expressing your own unique gift is not challenging in itself. The challenge is finding, even better, searching out the right opportunities to use your gifts and talents to benefit others.
It's easy to use your gifts to serve yourself because that is what comes naturally. I have yet to find a scripture verse describing or proclaiming the virtues of using your talents to make yourself and your own life better. We have come pre-programmed and, to a greater extent, programmed by society, to find our strengths and exploit them for our own good.
Jesus is the living example of operating with a heart focused on serving others. He used His gifts to changed the world, to make it a better place for all of us. He had no regard for how it would benefit Him or His family. His focus was on serving others.
Imagine how different our world might be today if each of us who loves the Lord would focus on using our talents and gifts to serve those around us with the full intention of doing so just for the sake of serving and giving and loving others?