Quieting the Shout of Should

Day 6 of 7 • This day’s reading


 “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.”

—1 Peter 4:10

Read 1 Peter 4:10-11

My husband won a certificate at a local Italian restaurant that says he is “Matt the Great.” It was presented with much fanfare and laughter at the end of a meal with family. The reason for his award? He finished his lasagna.

To be fair, it was a rather large, apparently difficult-to-finish portion of pasta. No other item on the menu came with the promise of a reward, but my husband is not one to back away from a challenge. (Consider the next day, when he did 50 push-ups to earn a free shirt.) The best part? As the manager was filling out his certificate, Matt moved on to dessert! Apparently, this isn’t normal behavior for most people who eat that much lasagna, because the manager was equally impressed and concerned.

While remarkable, this was definitely not the kind of gift Peter had in mind in today’s reading. We have all been given gifts to use to serve others and give glory to God. When we work within those gifts, when we focus on the talents we have instead of the skills we think we should have been given, we serve with energy and enthusiasm. It’s not a drain on our resources when we work within our gifting—somehow, we find room to accomplish more when others wonder how we do it. We find joy in writing, speaking, teaching, hosting, volunteering, managing, serving, creating, or building when we work from the strength God provides. When we love others well through the gifts God has given us, there is always room for just a little more.

Quiet Quest: If you haven’t done it recently, this is a good time to set that timer on your phone and spend some quality quiet time with the Lord. Consider increasing your time by a few minutes today and move your phone across the room. Go to God in prayer, asking Him to help you make room for more and to reveal where the shouts of “should” have distracted you from His plan for your life. Where have you abandoned your gifts because they didn’t feel impressive enough, the amount you had to give felt lacking, or because you tried to use them and failed? What is one small way you can step back into the role God has created for you?