Paul gives the reason of why we shouldn’t be self-seeking a little further down in this Chapter. In verse 33 he writes, “For I’m not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” When I’m trying to further my own interests and desires, my attention is on myself, not others. Thus what happens is my selfishness blinds me to the needs of people around me. After 40 years in the Nursing profession, one thing I always taught was that a good Nurse filled the needs of her patients…but an excellent Nurse looked for and anticipated her patient’s needs with skilled foresight. It’s easy to look out for our own interests…we’re pretty much hard-wired to do that. But what’s more difficult is to set down our own agenda to build up our fellow man.
The Holy Spirit not only sovereignly assigns Spiritual gifts to each Believer, but also empowers their use by providing the strength, skill, and means to exercise them. So you may ask yourself, “But I don’t know what my Spiritual gifts are.” It’s pretty simple. What areas are you talented in and what are you passionate about? Your gifts will always follow along those avenues. But more importantly, your Spiritual gifts are not for your personal edification alone…they were given to you to build up the body of Christ – the Church – as works of service for others.
We all have Spiritual Gifts graciously given to us by the Holy Spirit at conversion. But they are not meant to be hoarded, hidden, or stashed away…they are given to us for the edification of others. But you can’t encourage others if you’re not actively within the Body, and they can’t exhort and inspire you if you’re not attending Church. As Believers, we all need each other for mutual encouragement on a regular basis…so if you haven’t attended Church in quite a while…maybe it’s time to re-engage.
You’ve probably heard the old saying…If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Oh that we would take that to heart the next time we’re frustrated or angry and our children are close enough to hear us. Careless words confuse and at times frighten children, even when the words are directed at a car that just cut you off or at your spouse. For children feel the angry emotions and then can mistakenly blame themselves for your outburst…even if they had nothing to do with it. ( Interestingly enough, I’ve found this reaction to parental bickering does not go away with age). Romans 14:19 reminds us, ” Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.”
I’ve heard them called shoulder taps, or God moments. It’s when the Holy Spirit impresses on your spirit to speak or do something for someone…sometimes a complete stranger. It’s when that still small voice tells you to perform a kind act, or speak words of encouragement into a person’s life. It may not be profound…it may only take a minute of your time…but know that this interaction is divinely arranged…and requires your obedience without hesitation. These shoulder taps are a way that God manifests His love to a lonely and lost world…and what He asks of us is to just hear and obey. So, step out in faith when the Holy Spirit urges you…for you never know the impact you may have on someone’s life.