Gifts, Actions, and Responsibility

“The Apostles said to them, “It would not be right for us to give up our work of teaching God’s word in order to be in charge of getting food to people.””  Acts 6:2

To understand this verse and get to our topic today we need a little context: when the Christian church was in its infancy after Jesus was on earth the people who had worked closest with Jesus (the Apostles) were in charge of everything.  But as the church grew the Apostles quickly realized they couldn’t do it all and started to delegate responsibilities.   They took advantage of others with good leadership ability or who showed potential and were willing to serve God and put them in positions of authority to tackle some of the tasks that didn’t have to be done by the top leaders, like food distribution to the poor as seen in this verse in Acts 6.  It’s an important task to be sure, but not one that had to be done by those at the top of the organization.

The same remains true for us today: we each have different gifts that can be used within the Church as well as in our towns, our jobs, and even with strangers.  However, not only do we not always use our gifts, sometimes we deliberately don’t use our gifts to help others.  Think about the number of stores you’ve been in where the employees were barely civil to you, and the businesses you’ve been in where you were welcomed.  Sometimes these employees are trained to treat you well, other times they’re just acting as they naturally would and treating you well.  And of course there are the stores where you’re astonished someone that rude or unhelpful could be hired and paid to work there.

The bottom line is as people we’re responsible for how we treat others, whether we’re helpful, kind, loving, accepting, rude, selfish, or angry, and we all have a choice as to if we accept that responsibility or don’t.  And sometimes we’ll do better at following our choice to be responsible than others, everyone has the occasional bad day or human moment.

This week I challenge you to not only use your strengths wisely, but also partner up with those around you to make the world a better place inside the church and around the world.

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