I admit that I am a weird person. I do random things for no other reason other than pure curiosity.
On one such occasion, the thought of a ‘birthday verse’, for a lack of a better term, came to mind. What is a birthday verse, you ask? A birthday verse is a verse that coincides with your birthday. To figure it out, you look up all the verses in the Bible that fall on your date of birth. For example, my friend, Kim, and I, our birthday is on Dec 30. I looked up all the books of the Bible that may have a Chapter 12, Verse 30. Once you have looked at all of them, you pick the one that speaks to you the most or is most relevant to your life. That is your Birthday Verse! I have now identified mine as my life verse.
You could also switch it around. I could look up what books have Chapter 30, Verse 12. There would not be very many of those.
With the use of a Bible app, this adventure would not take very long and is easy to do. On the other hand, if you are bored and looking for something to do for a couple hours, then you could use an old fashioned hard copy of your Bible. As well, you would get more familiar with all the books of the Bible. Once you have the choice of Bible ready, go through and find your verses.
If you are like my friend Marian, whose birthday is January 3, you will have a lot of options to choose from. For me, there were actually not that many. The one I chose for my Birthday/Life Verse was Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
My husband’s birthday is February 20. The verse I chose for him was in Galatians. “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Then I created a sign for him and framed it for his birthday. He has it hanging in our bedroom. I think it is an awesome gift idea for someone, or yourself. You could also make a card out of it.
I tend to be a creative person so I like to do things like this. If you are not very creative, that is okay too. God has given you different gifts.
Have you figured out what your gifts are yet? I am not just talking about your spiritual gifts, but gifts in general. What things are you good at? What do you like to do? What brings you joy? (see post Where is joy?) What actions have people complimented you on?
Sometimes it can be very difficult to figure out what our gifts are. And sometimes even harder to figure out our spiritual gifts. There are online tests you can take but they can be very general. Once you discover your spiritual gifts, the next challenge is to discern how to use them. Sometimes I think that is the most challenging part.
Do not be afraid to ask people what they think your gifts are. They may see something that you do not. The lens we see ourselves through is much foggier and blurrier than the one others see us through. And of course, the one with the clearest lens is God. Pray about it and see/hear what God will show/tell you.
We are asked to do things in the church or with a ministry in which we are assisting. We, especially women, will say yes because we feel obligated. Or we agree to it because we have nothing else to do or no one else will do it. Or it becomes a habit to say yes to everything we are asked to do. (BTW, there is Celebrate Recovery for that.) A friend recently told me something about this. She uses the term FOG: Do not do it out of Fear, Obligation or Guilt.
Some of the onus falls on the church to help people work within the limits of their gifting. Just because a person says yes to something doesn’t mean they should be doing it. There may be others who may be better at it but need some encouragement to work those gifts and skills and to step out of their comfort zone.
At the same time, we, as individuals, need to not be afraid to say no. No is NOT a swear word, as much as some people may think otherwise. If your schedule is full, then say, “No, maybe next time.” We have to know what our limits are. Our own mental health is more important than serving coffee every Sunday morning because no one else will do it.
In I Corinthians 12:27-31, Paul talks about all being part of the body and each part contributes to the body in a different way. If you are familiar with the Addams Family, we can’t all be like Thing, a hand just hanging out and helping the family. (Thank you, Marian, for the movie reference.) We all have our own part to play.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Where are you being called to serve? It could be making crafts with the kids in Children’s Ministry. It could be singing as part of the Worship Team. It could be leading a small group or adult ministry. It could be the warm smile people see every Sunday morning as you greet them at the door as part of the Welcome Committee. It could be an encouraging call to someone who is struggling. It could be making a meal for someone who is sick or recovering from surgery. There are so many ways to serve and use your gifts within the church and community.
Do not constraint your gifts and serving to just at church. Maybe there is a volunteer position that would be very suitable to your gifts. For example, there may be a local hospice where they welcome volunteers to assist those who are grieving. The hospice in my area is completely volunteer run. It is a wonderful opportunity to assist those who are going through a very difficult time; perhaps the most difficult time of their life.
Other organizations like Cadets, Girl Guides, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Scouts, 4-H, etc. are always looking for volunteers who are willing and able to give of their time. Look for Outreach opportunities within your communities. They are always looking for people. I have a friend who preaches to people in prison and gangs. My mom teaches women in jail to sew and they then sell their products at a local missions store.
Whatever your gifts are, they are gifts from God. It could be something as simple as the smile on your face and glow in your eyes to being able to preach every Sunday morning from the front of the church. Every gift is important and God wants us to use them to serve others.
In the comments, please share your Birthday Verse!