I was reading an interesting article last night in the July 2, 2011 issue of World Magazine. It was by Marvin Olasky, about Adam Bellow. It was titled Leaving the Liberal Cocoon and was an interview. One topic Mr. Bellow was talking about was having fun at what we are doing. He was referencing the early days of conservative writings when it was fun, but now, more of the writers are involved with pumping up their own egos, standing by what has now become establishment. Why? Because they have gotten to the top and being successful has all become routine, predictable..and boring. It isn’t fun anymore…and the products show it…whether the product is a TV show, books by a specific author or even a political party.
OUR CHIEF END: GLORIFY GOD, ENJOY HIM FOREVER
It got me thinking. Am I having fun? As Christians, our emphasis is so often on doing things right that we forget the enjoyment factor! You know, the part about “What is the chief end of man?” “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism) I think if we are doing that, the enjoyment will show through in many ways. We may not be giddy, but we shouldn’t be glum.
EXPRESSING OUR ENJOYMENT OF GOD AS WE SERVE
For example, there are gifts God has given us with which to serve Him. For many of us, they come so naturally, we often don’t realize we have them. That is not to say they don’t need work to be developed, but there are still times when we aren’t always aware of a gift…because we have always had it.
Think of the gifted encouragers you know. Many that I have known don’t consider themselves to have a gift! They go around encouraging others with notes, gifts of time, words,or Scripture and don’t even realize they have a gift. Is that not amazing? When you ask them what their gift is, they often can’t think of anything. Why? Because they love what they are doing!
USING OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS
Isn’t that one of the reasons it is called a gift? We often find ourselves naturally doing something that benefits our local body of believers. Working to develop it may take extra effort, but still, it is something we enjoy! Well, at least 80% of the time.
We love working in the kitchen, not always because we love the specific job, but because we love to serve others in a useful, concrete way. We love children/teens/adults/older adults/ young adults/college kids so we teach them in Sunday School, offer our homes in hospitality, minister to them in ways that show we care for them.
So, what is the gift or gift set God has given you to benefit the Body? Are you using it joyfully? What keeps you from enjoying it? Is it lack of appreciation from others? That may be a problem. You are responsible to use the gift for God’s glory…not your benefit or even the appreciation of others. It is possible that you may not be appreciated until God tells you Himself…in person…in heaven.
WHAT ARE THEY? HOW ARE THEY TO BE USED?
If you are not “having fun” ministering in the way God wants, change it up a bit. Work with different people, do something in a different way, work along with someone else, think outside the box. But do it in a way that will be enjoyable…for you and those around you. (One caveat: This would be within the limits of Scriptural and prayer considerations. Obviously, my fun or enjoyment are not the primary goals.)
As believers, we have so much to be thankful for. Our salvation has been purchased totally and completely by Christ. We have nothing to fear as we look to life beyond the grave. Not only does our salvation provide for us after life, it equips us to live in a broken world. Doesn’t it make sense that our lives should show joy? That the work God has given us to do should be enjoyable?
ARE YOU ENJOYING GOD?
What do you think? If you aren’t enjoying the life God has given you to live, what can you do to enjoy it more? If you are enjoying God, your enjoyment will show to those around you.