If you take time to sit at Jesus’ feet and be filled by God’s Spirit as you study the written Word, and if you focus on overcoming internal obstacles to doing God’s work, you will never lack for ministry. God’s fullness in you will naturally overflow into the lives of others. However, sometimes God calls us to something that requires growth in skills as well. I think immediately of two women who increased their ministry potential when they overcame their shyness.
Evangelist Corrie ten Boom had a problem with shyness. Determined to overcome it, she enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course so she could learn to talk to people. If she could talk to people, then she could witness to them about Jesus Christ. Developing herself in this way led to greater ministry.
Mrs. Howard Hendricks is a pastor’s wife who also had a problem with shyness. Like Corrie ten Boom, Jeanne enrolled in a helpful organization, Toastmasters for Women, to learn how to talk with people individually and in groups. Twice I’ve attended women’s retreats where Mrs. Hendricks was the retreat speaker—speaking each time to more than 500 women. Developing herself led to more capable ministry.
Ministry and service to others is stimulated when we take the time to develop our skills and overcome our weaknesses— and that makes sense. After all, how much can a teacher teach, a counselor counsel, an administrator administrate? Only as far as each has grown! As each of us grows, each of us finds power and knowledge for overcoming personal weaknesses and for more effective ministry in Jesus Christ.
You’ve heard it said that, “You cannot give away what you do not possess.” And, the Bible tells us that the words that we give away should be seasoned with grace and acceptable in God’s sight (Colossians 4:6, Psalm 19:14). After learning of these commands from God, I considered that the best words I could give away would be God’s words. Therefore, I would have to know them before I could offer His truth to others.
At this time I fretted, “I can’t memorize Scripture! It’s too hard.” Then I visited a friend’s home whose pet parrot sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in its entirety for me. As I stood there amazed at what I was hearing, I thought, “Well, if a parrot can learn ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ I can learn to memorize Scripture!” Surely each of us can develop a way of remembering significant verses from God’s Word, no matter what our perceived intelligence. If you do, your filled heart will be a source of encouragement to many.
Jesus Himself said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself'” (Luke 10:27). You will always have more to give to your neighbor if you regularly place yourself before God and let Him grow you, strengthen you, transform you!
Question: Is there a skill that you have hesitated to develop because it is new, hard, or out of your comfort zone? Share the blessings that might come from utilizing that new skill to encourage yourself and others to take that next step.
Find more encouragement for your soul in my book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.