Good for Nothin'
Dr. Doug Posey
You’ve probably heard the joke, “Some people get paid to be good, but I’m good for nothing!” You may be surprised to learn that God actually expects us to be good for nothing. All-to-often our first question when asked to serve is, “What’s in it for me?” As the consumer culture has crept into the church, conveying the idea that we’re all expected to serve simply because we’re part of God’s family has become an increasingly tough sell.
We are so used to negotiating for pay and other benefits, that when God calls us to serve, often our knee-jerk reaction is to begin tabulating the advantages are for us. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be financial support for those who dedicate their lives to full-time, vocational ministry. I couldn’t do what I do if pastors didn’t get paid! The question is; do I, or others who serve in ministry, feel a sense of entitlement? Should there always be something in it for me?
In the gospel of Luke, Jesus says of the master, “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?” (Luke 17:9). What is expected of you as a servant of Christ? What is the minimum that He has commanded you to do? Will you only do it if you receive some kind of recognition?
For example, there is the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples…” (Matt. 28:18-20 NKJV). And the Great Commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39 NKJV). We should all be involved to some degree in those endeavors or we shouldn’t call ourselves Christians. But, what else?
You also have a special role to play in the Body of Christ. It is a vital role for which you have been specially gifted. Once you discover your place in Christ’s body, it changes everything. Besides the great Commission and Commandment, discovering and using your gift(s) is a basic expectation our Master has of us servants.
The major change you will notice when you discover and begin using your primary spiritual gift is a sharpened focus for your future. In my case, my primary gift was teaching. So, I re-focused my life around the pursuit of opportunities to exercise that gift. It has led to the ministry I have today. God is still in the process of guiding me into varied venues in which to use my gift. But, there is a focus for my time, talent and treasure that reflects my part in the Body of Christ. Of course, teaching is only one of many gifts God has given His church, including the one(s) He has given you!
Interestingly, as we serve, something about our culture becomes obvious. The world has it backwards. For example, we refer to high ranking political officials as “public servants,” yet they’re chauffeured around in large limousines, wined and dined by millionaires, and often given the royal treatment. If anyone deserved the royal treatment it was Jesus—He was (and is) a King! Even so, look at how He used His high office. Rather than being served, He served (e.g., John 13).
Now, more than ever, Living Oaks Church must be made up of people who are discovering, developing and deploying their spiritual gifts; people who have re-focused their future to accomplish all that God has called them to do and to be as an essential part of our church. It’s what God expects of each of us. What are you waiting for? Have you been waiting to see what’s in it for you, or are you willing to be “good for nothing?” Actually, the nothing thing is not totally accurate. The Bible talks about rewards, ruling with Christ, if you’re willing to put up with nothing—or worse—now. Where’s your focus, here or there?
“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”
—1 CORINTHIANS 12:18 NASB