“Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.”
~1 Peter 4:11 (NRSV).
Tough assignment, in many ways, this might be — it’s our challenge, though.
This is like our Mission Statement.
The middle part of the verse could well be the way of managing the first.
In God’s Strength
It’s no small thing to rely on the strength that God supplies. It’s a difficult thing to learn — surrender.
This is why serving God around the call of our hearts is always easier than serving from extrinsic motives — the sense of surrender is, there, a natural one or, better put, it’s spiritual gold.
God’s strength is a seamless thing. It’s inexplicable and just works, beyond our comprehensive understanding. We achieve what we need to with the minimum of fuss, and added to our success is knowledge that the secret is one of focus, not effort.
Our motivation for life is everything about allowing things to be as they would be. This gives us the natural additional benefit of guarded speech.
Speaking God’s Words
How often will that vile enemy, Satan, cruel us for the thought-of effect of our words? For the analytical-of-mind, too often.
The truth is, we’re not required or even expected to be perfect in the planning or execution of what we say. Perhaps what the Apostle Peter is talking about is we need a solemn sense of responsibility for the ever-to-be-accounted-for words uttered forth. Less and less are we given to glib offerings of irrelevant or nonsensical nature; but of these we’re not immune.
If we were immune we’d lose the gift — an opportune marker — of humility, for we’d have little reason for embarrassment at the faux pas’ we make, and therefore we’d not learn. Following Jesus — the process of discipleship — is about learning.
It’s about turning embarrassment, guilt and shame into useful portents for the Lord.
Speaking God’s words is about growing in circumspection. It’s a growing in confidence when we see ourselves not making the mistakes we used to make.
In effect, what we’re learning is the ability to both delay our instinctive response and discern the actual needs of the situation.
The steward of God is focused, in a relaxed way, around self-awareness and social-awareness as means toward adjusting situations to promote the achievement of God’s will.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.