How to Be Unique and Effective
By Rick Warren
— September 13, 2017
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
If you want to know God’s will for your life, you’ve got to look at what you’re good at. Why would God give you certain gifts, abilities, and talents and not expect you to use them? That would be a waste.
God gives you Spiritual gifts, Heart/passions, Abilities, a Personality, and Experiences (SHAPE) that make you unique, and when you take time to figure out how God has shaped you, it gives you direction for where you should go with your life. Ask yourself, “What am I good at? What do I love to do? What is my passion? What do I find exciting, and what do I find boring? What do people affirm in me? How can God use those abilities for his Kingdom?”
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV). The word for “God’s handiwork” in Greek is the word “poema,” from which we get the word “poem.” You are God’s poem. You are a work of art. You are unique. There is nobody like you!
But there’s more to life than being unique. God wants you to be unique and effective. He designed you the way he did so you could do good works. Even before you were born, God predesigned a role for you in life. He said, “I’m going to make this person with certain gifts, abilities, and talents, and I’m going to allow this person to go through certain experiences — some good, some painful, and some educational. I’m going to bring all of these things together because I want something done in the world that will take that kind of person to do it.”
We are saved to serve. That’s what it means to have a ministry — you use your talents and gifts to help other people. Fulfillment means being who and what God meant you to be.
The Bible says, “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other” (1 Peter 4:10a TLB).
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Talk It Over
- If you’ve never done so, take some time today to think about your SHAPE. What are the Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences God has given you that make you uniquely you?
- How are you using your SHAPE in your current ministry?
- What dream do you believe God has given you? How do you think God can use your abilities and experiences to help you accomplish that dream?
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