Last week we shared a couple examples of how spiritual gifts can be used to minister to others in the name of Christ. You can read more here. Today we continue this conversation about how to help women use their gifts by looking at a couple more true-life stories.
The Gift of Being Yourself
I was headed for a weekend speaking engagement for high school girls. On the flight out, we experienced airplane trouble, and I knew I would not make it in time to speak. Forty-five minutes into the flight the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an indication that there is a problem with the left engine, so to make sure everything is all right, we are heading back to Atlanta. We’re sorry for any inconvenience we’ve caused you.”
As the passengers left the plane, many began attacking the ticket agent. A woman standing by me began literally eating cigarettes, not smoking them! She would put one in her mouth, bite it, and throw it down. Somewhat out of control, she began to rant and rave about not getting back on the plane. She grabbed me by the arm, asking me how to get to a bus station. (I was dressed in red and black that day, so I guess she thought I worked for the airline.) I looked up the phone number and gave it to her. I sat down beside her and began trying to calm her. As we quietly talked, she said, “Well, what’s wrong with you anyway?”
“Nothing,” I responded.
“That’s what I mean,” she said. “Why are you so calm?”
I explained that I was on my way to speak to a group of teenage girls about the most important relationship in my life. I’m not sure if she was interested in what I was saying or if what I was saying took her mind off that plane! I continued to share with her my relationship to Jesus Christ and how that made a difference in my life. About that time, a man whom I had never seen before tapped me on the shoulder, saying we could get rebooked through Charlotte and I could go with him to the ticket counter. As I closed my conversation with the woman, I noticed she had calmed down. I wished her well.
As I walked away, I stopped to compliment the ticket agent on the way she had handled the crowd. I asked for her name and badge number so I could write the airline about her good work. Stunned by my remark, she said, “You just made my day! Thank you!”
Being gifted in the body of Christ simply means using our spiritual gifts in the most natural way. That may include being courteous, listening, looking up phone numbers, being calm in the chaos of life, or just giving the world a glimpse of part of the body of Christ. We can impact the kingdom of God with the secret weapon of spiritual giftedness!
Oh, by the way, the man I mentioned earlier said to me as we walked away, “I’m a deacon at a church here in this city. I prayed for you as I heard you share Christ with that woman.” Yes!
The Gift of Grace
The CEO of a successful company recently discovered a huge mistake had been made by her employees. It would cost the company an enormous amount of money to fix. The CEO raised her voice, accusing the supervisor and the other people at fault. Then she walked back into her office and slammed the door, rattling the windows and pictures, and feeling a bit justified in her response. She later explained, “After settling in my office and reflecting on what had happened, I remembered that God is my CEO, and He would not have been pleased with my actions.”
Feeling convicted, she went back to the workroom and apologized to the staff. Later, her office door opened; the supervisor peeked inside and said, “I guess this Christian thing does work after all.”
In this scenario, the kingdom looked more like Christ because of the obedience of one part of His body that displayed the spiritual gift of grace.
As believers, we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. It takes every one of us giving everything we can to make the body look more like Christ. When one part (like that CEO) makes a positive difference, the whole body looks good. Likewise, when one part fails to use his or her gift, the whole body fails. What an awesome thought!
My prayer is that you will take the issue of your gift-part of the body of Christ seriously and challenge the women in your ministry to do the same. Waste no time or concern about another person’s gifts, except, of course, to encourage them. Consider instead the heavy realization that without every part being its best, the whole cannot be complete. It will not bear the family resemblance of Christ as it should. We are kin by the blood of Christ, and our family must act like a family—knowing what it cost God to make us His children.
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Esther Burroughs and found in Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.