Romans 12: 6-8
“We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
I remembered when my friend Jeremy came and prayed for me, he said, “Sarah, you have a gift of compassion…” At the sound of those words, I felt disheartened and immediately told God, “What a lame gift, everyone can do that.” But I am slowly learning that all giftings are equal in His kingdom.
In our own version of Middle Earth, the Church, we long to be Legolas, Aragorn or Gandalf. We want to yield the staff, the axe or the sword of Narsil. But instead, like Sam, we get elven rope. In the Lord of the Rings Movie, Sam’s reaction to Galadriel was, “Thank you m’lady… Have you ran out of those nice shiny daggers?”
It may sound ridiculous but we ask God the same question, “Can’t we have another role?” The thing is, though Sam did not wield swords or axes, he had a weapon of equal caliber — the heart of compassion and service. Nevertheless I know that, in the moment, I would have felt the weight of insignificance bear over me when seeing my friends holding those weapons.
When we think about mercy or encouragement or even giving, we do not tend to think of it as a gift of the Holy Spirit. We may not think much of it at all. We feel that it is just a thing that people do and nothing more. We have somehow believed that the rarity of certain gifting, like the ability to prophesy, make them more powerful or special. And sadly, we may also equate it with how much God loves us, instead of realizing that having none of these gifts would make us more ‘saved’ or a child of God than we already are.
I think that the big question is: who ultimately receives the glory?
It is human nature to want to be recognized and loved, but are we looking for it in all the wrong places? I know I struggle with it, even if I hate to acknowledge it. It is also the fear of not being known that overtakes us. Over the years, I realized that God gives some a bigger heart to encourage or to serve or to show mercy. It is a reminder that serving, encouragement and giving are as important roles as the others. We are like the fingerprints on fingers — we provide the grip for the fingers to do detailed work. While you may feel that your work goes unnoticed, the perfect Lover of your soul notices, and it brings Him much delight. Remember that our identity comes from Him.
So, to the encouragers, givers and compassionate ones, never forget that you are a crucial part of the story. Though Samwise Gamgee was not the main protagonist, Frodo would not have reached Mordor without his encouragement and service. Without Barnabas, the encourager, Saul would not have met the apostles neither would we have the book of John. You are not insignificant, hobbits of the church!