As we go through Romans, I’ve started to describe the different grace gifts that we’ve been given. In my last post I talked about the prophet’s heart.
If it is serving, let him serve;
The next gift I want to look at is the servant’s heart. These are the people who always want to help out. They want to be told what needs to be done and they jump right on it.
People with this heart are always needed in the local ministry. They’re the ones who come up to you and say, “Just tell me what you want done.” They don’t care if no one sees what they’re doing. They’re not looking for any kind of advancement. They simply want to be of service to God’s kingdom.
It’s interesting that Paul gives them no special exhortation, just to serve in your serving.
These people have a special insight into what needs to be done. They sometimes see a need and fill it before others even recognize the problem.
An example of someone with this heart is Martha. Think about the time that Jesus came to teach at her home.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
This illustrates the problem that a servant’s heart will sometimes face. Because of their ability to see what needs to be done, they sometimes get frustrated when others don’t see the need to serve. There is a solution to this, but it will be difficult for them to implement it.
Because of their special insight of what needs to be done, many times it makes them a good candidate for leadership positions. The problem is that they usually don’t see themselves as leaders.
But, in my opinion, some of the best leaders are those who lead by example. Their lives are a living illustration of how to serve in God’s kingdom.
…if it is teaching, let him teach;
The next grace gift that Paul mentions is the teacher’s heart. I understand this one the most, because it’s my personal motivation.
People with a teacher’s heart want to impart information that will help others to live a better life. Jesus gives a good description of this motivation.
He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
Those with this gift see themselves as storehouses of valuable treasures. They see information as God’s grace to be distributed. Unfortunately, the value of this treasure is in the eye of the beholder.
The problem that many of us with this heart run into, is that we’re tempted to teach – give out this information – at inappropriate times. For instance, if a dish falls off the counter, that’s not the right time to explain to a family member why putting it too close to the edge is what caused the mess. Yes, I know this from experience!
In walking with a teacher’s heart, the best approach is to distribute the grace of information according to the Word we received from God. We need to be aware of the feelings and needs of those around us and not just our desire to teach them the “right way”.
In this way, we can see God’s hand at work through us.
Questions: Do you have a servant’s or a teacher’s heart? Who do you know with these gifts?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi