BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Our gifts and why we should use them
By Andrew Greenhalgh, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral
Do you like social media?
Personally, I’m not the biggest fan. I could do without it. Unfortunately, though, because of my business, I can’t just stick my head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. It can be a very useful tool to bring in new customers.
In the past year, I’ve been learning a lot about LinkedIn. If you’re not familiar with it, LinkedIn is the social media platform specifically for business owners, job seekers and work-related matters.
Despite most of the people I work for being other businesses, I rarely used it before we came back from Zambia.
Now, though, I post on it about three times a week. I write all sorts of posts, from business tips and salesy posts about what I do to personal posts.
Recently I wrote one about being an encourager.
It was prompted by my youngest son (10), who regularly asks me to draw for him.
As I said in my post, I’d love to be good at art.
Growing up, my sister was really good at art, and would relax with a piece of paper, on which she would sketch my parents. You could tell it was them and everything.
I was (and remain) shockingly bad at drawing.
At school, I loved French, but really didn’t like it when my teacher asked us to draw pictures and then write the French words for them alongside.
If asked to draw a cow, I would draw a rectangle, add a head and some stick legs, and write “cow” inside (see picture below).
A cow. I honestly did draw a picture very much like this in my French exercise book once.
Now, do you know what my son says when I protest that I’m rubbish at art? He says: “No you’re not daddy! You’re brilliant at drawing!”
One day the truth may hit him like a brick, but at the moment it makes me feel 10 feet tall.
For many reasons, I have struggled with self-esteem and self-confidence since childhood, so I need people like Sammy in my life – people who are encouragers.
My wife Julie and my other children are encouragers too, and I have made conscious decisions to surround myself with encouragers because I know I need them.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know I shouldn’t need to be constantly encouraged. I know that God sees me as perfect and loves me for who I am.
But I also believe that one of the ways God reminds me of that fact is through other people.
God gives us all different gifts. To some, the gift of being a natural encourager might not seem as valuable as a different kind of gift – the gift of being able to teach, or being able to lead worship.
But that’s not the case. God sees them all as equally valuable and you can bet your bottom dollar that the people who benefit from your gift certainly see it as incredibly valuable.
I don’t know what your gift is. But, thanks to 1 Peter 4:10 (“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”), I do know that you have one.
Note that Peter doesn’t say “if you’ve received a gift”.
He says “whatever gift you have received.”
I also know that whatever your gift is, it is valuable, and, what’s more, there are people out there who would benefit from you using it.
If you’re an encourager, then great! Encourage someone today. Send them a message, give them a call, tell them how much you value them.
Even if you’re not a natural encourager, I’d encourage you to do that. It’s not hard.
But if you don’t think you’re a natural encourager, or you’re not sure what your gift is, I would encourage you to ask God and, when He tells you what your gift is, to use it.
When I write LinkedIn posts, I always end with a question or two. It encourages engagement which gets my posts seen by more people.
I’m going to end with two questions for you.
– Do you know what your gift is?
– Have you used it today?
Andrew Greenhalgh with his wife Julie
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?