Weekly Thought – May 1, 2018
Fred had a high view of giftedness and their use. He appreciated the effective application and dedication of gifts to the glory of God. He saw them as part of our stewardship responsibilities.
Down to Earth Gifts
As a businessman I work to hone my discernment skills. Good judgment and common sense are vital to successful leadership. These skills are often associated with the secular world, but I believe my ability to discern and make good decisions applies to my spiritual life, as well.
For example. I was asked to speak to a singles’ retreat hosted by Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church and pastored by my good friend Steve Brown. They didn’t ask me to come preach – they wanted my viewpoint as a Christian layman. I didn’t pack my discernment gifts away in my office desk drawer when I went into this church environment. I went knowing all my gifts were dedicated to God’s use.
During the time a young couple anticipating marriage asked me for coffee. She had a background of insecurity and instability. He was one of the most irresponsible young men I had ever met. They asked my opinion of their upcoming engagement. I was quite frank telling them she was looking for security but he didn’t offer that. He spent his time in non-revenue producing activities. He had a winning personality, but a losing plan for supporting a family.
She took me seriously and they decided not to marry. Three years later I was on a plane flying cross country. A flight attendant saw me and said “You are Fred Smith. Remember me from the singles’ retreat?” She gave me an update which included an upcoming marriage to a seminary professor.
At the same retreat a Christian lawyer asked me this question: “Is Christian morality more than legality?” He explained he thought if it were legal, then that meant it was moral. He amassed a great deal of money manipulating his ethical standards. “Legality is the minimum standard for the Christian, not the maximum” was my comment. Christian morality is a much higher bar. As he asked I made the decision to tell him the truth, not shade it or try to give him a way out. Discernment carries with it the responsibility of integrity and avoiding the desire to be liked when hard words are required.
Bringing our faith and our God-given gifts together makes sense. If we are given the ability to read people, their patterns, and their motivations the church needs us to operate in such a way that we are a benefit. We do not leave our thinking processes and strengths at work when we participate in the local church. Our gifts are given for full-time use.
This week consider: 1) What are my strengths God has given? 2) Who has helped me with wise counsel? 3) How can I effectively bridge work and faith?
Words of Wisdom: “I didn’t pack my discernment gifts away in my office desk drawer when I went into this church environment. I went knowing all my gifts were dedicated to God’s use.”
Wisdom from the Word: “A person’s gift makes room for him, and leads him before important people.” (Proverbs 18:16 NET Bible)