“That piety which sanctifies us, and which is a true devotion to God, consists in doing all His will precisely at the time, in the situation and under the circumstances, in which He has placed us. Perfect devotedness requires, not only that we do the will of God, but that we do it with love. God would have us serve Him with delight. It is our hearts that He asks of us.” Francois De La Mothe Fenelon
As I prepared for my first Sunday School lesson on spiritual gifts, I began studying what the gifts are not. They are not fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, self-control, goodness, faithfulness. These qualities are also gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they are given to and expected of every Christian. The spiritual gifts are varied, and assigned to specific individuals.
The fruit of the Spirit does, however, tell us the manner in which we are to use our gifts. Remember how the apostle Paul said:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
If we exercise our gifts in ways that are impatient, unloving, rude or unkind, they become worthless. We must not only have the hands of a servant, we must have the heart of a servant. This is harder to achieve, but much more satisfying than just going through the motions in order to “do our duty.”
How can we develop the heart of a servant? I know I can’t do it on my own. It comes only through surrender to God. It comes only imperfectly on this side of eternity. I’m praying today for a servant’s heart. What about you?