1 Peter 4: 10
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
I’m not sure if any of you have seen and remember the movie Stand By Me. Last night, I watched a show on the last 24 hours of River Phoenix’s life. The show recalled how he was a young and rising star when that movie came out – a life full of promise. Every director he worked with said he had an innate and powerful ability to act with his whole body, voice, and mind. He embodied the roles he took on. His professional life was going well. His personal life, not so much.
River received an incredible gift. He had an aura around him that drew many to him. He stood out in Hollywood because of his God given gift. As a teenager he became the sole breadwinner for his family, which took a toll on him emotionally and physically. He already had a large family with several younger brothers and sisters but when fame hit people came out of the woodwork. It was said that by the time of his death by drug overdose he was supporting nearly 30 people at home. Hanger on’s came out of the wood work.
I was reminded of this verse last night as I watched and relived the final hours of River’s life dissolve. River shared his gift abundantly but those closest to him drained him as a result. River grew up in the church and knew scriptures and hymns very well. I often wonder if he sat with this verse often and viewed his gifts as a blessing or a curse.
The author of Peter reminds us that we are all bestowed with gifts – all varied, but all in order to serve each other. The second part of this important verse states we must use them ‘as good stewards of God’s varied grace.; Peter continues in the next verse saying whatever we do must be to glorify Jesus Christ.
I know many of you well now and your many incredible gifts given to you by God. I pray that you share them freely in order to serve each other and create healthy boundaries. The first thing the flight attendants remind us when we fly with our small boys is to put our oxygen masks on first, then the boys. Can’t be any help if we get knocked unconscious by suffocating. I think Peter would say the same thing about sharing our gifts – create healthy boundaries but share freely and abundantly.
Pray: God, we understand you have given all of us gifts and some of us have yet to discover exactly what that is. Some of us are jack of all trades while others of us are masters of a craft or trade. Work in us, stir in us, move in us a desire to discover and share our gifts with our community so we can make our community richer and stronger through our sharing.
Read: Psalm 121
Act: Consider sharing your gifts in a new way. If you sing, consider singing for the church. If you like to act, consider trying out for a community play. If you are a good listener, invite a suffering friend over to talk – there are many out there.
Yourself: Invite a friend over to dinner or out to dinner to talk – talk for example about the first time you met, why you are thankful you are still friends, and why you are grateful for them. Gratitude is attitude.
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