What’s the Big Deal About Your SHAPE?
By Rick Warren
— August 22, 2017
“Bring to me all the people who are mine, whom I made for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7 NCV).
About 20 years ago I came up with a little acrostic called SHAPE to talk about the five things that make you, you. SHAPE is the way God wired you for your life. Every area of your life is influenced by the way you’re shaped.
Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences — these are the five things that make you, you. In that combination of spiritual gifts, you have heart, passion, and interests. Why do you think you have those interests? Because God gave them to you. And if we all liked to do the same things, there would be a lot less accomplished in the world.
So God made you unique, and there’s nobody else like you. Why does this matter?
- Because your SHAPE reveals God’s purpose for you. The way you find out what God wants you to do with your life is to discover how he shaped you. But here’s the thing: God won’t force you to do his plan. You can waste your life. You can use it on all kinds of personal, self-centered things and totally miss God’s plan and purpose for your life. In fact, most people do. That’s the tragedy. And that’s why they’re so frustrated! They’re trying to be something somebody else wants them to be rather than what God wants them to be.
- Because your SHAPE equips you to serve God. God has a life mission for you that nobody else on this planet can do. Maybe you’ve missed that mission. Maybe you’ve missed serving God. But you can start today to make the rest of your life the best of your life. God will never ask you to do anything in life that he hasn’t already given you the ability to do.
- Because life is a test. If you’re a follower of Jesus, this life is preparation for the next life in Heaven. God says, “This is a test. I’m testing you to see what you will do with what you’ve been given on earth. Based on that, I will determine what I give you to do in Heaven for eternity.”
- Because it shows God’s glory. When you use your SHAPE and you do what God made you to do, it not only feels good, but it also makes God smile. Iranaeus was a great Christian leader in the second century who said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” You know what makes God smile? When he looks down and sees you and me using the talents that he gave us for his glory.
Isaiah 43:7 says, “Bring to me all the people who are mine, whom I made for my glory, whom I formed and made” (NCV). If you didn’t bring glory to God, you wouldn’t be alive. God made you to enjoy you!
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Talk It Over
- What are your spiritual gifts? How are you using them to serve others?
- What unique personality traits and abilities has God given you for serving others?
- Is God asking you to do something that you don’t think you are capable of doing? How do you think God equipped you to do that very thing?
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