John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. John 1:8 NLT
He beamed a smile and said, “I just finished writing a 20-page paper.”
I ran into Johnsy at our annual school auction. I had taught him grammar in middle school and Bible in ninth grade. Trying to prepare them for college as ninth graders, I assigned them weekly papers to write. Johnsy was an industrious student—always doing his best—but he grunted as the rest of the class did when I gave the weekly assignment. Now his attitude differed. “I really think my ability to write that paper came because you made us write so much in Bible class,” he confessed. I smiled and thanked him for his words of encouragement.
I asked Johnsy about his major. He had one, but wasn’t sure he planned to keep it. He might refine it a bit, or change it completely. He wasn’t worried, though. He was only a freshman and had plenty of time to make up his mind. Johnsy knew he was a believer, but wasn’t sure of his identity in life beyond that. Not unusual for first or even second-year college students. But Johnsy has his head on straight, and I have confidence he’ll figure it out.
John the Baptist had it figured out too. He came before Jesus to introduce Jesus to the world of his day, but he knew he wasn’t the light—just a witness to the Light. Once he introduced the Light to the world, his job was completed.
God gives each of us gifts to use in His service. Through experience, prayer, spiritual gifts’ inventories, and listening to others, we can determine those gifts. The identity of the gift matters not as much as using it when we discover its identity. This is God’s plan and the way we find fulfillment in life.
Knowing who we are in Christ—forgiven, cleansed, children, saints—is necessary, but only knowing that and not knowing or using our gifts doesn’t complete our life journey. God has work for us to do. He wants us to touch others’ lives with His love and mercy.
I have no doubt that whatever Johnsy decides to do, he’ll do with ethics that will please His God. Find out your identity, and get busy changing your world.
Prayer: Father, show us our gifts, and then give us opportunities to use them.
Tweetable: How do you determine your identity?
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