What is Your Contribution?: Understanding My Part in God's Mission
My older son is graduating from high school this spring. It is both an exciting and challenging season. Besides figuring out his next steps, there are two things I want him to learn as he makes some big decisions.
First, I want him to learn to trust that God has his future in His hands. It’s not up to him to create it. His days are already written (Ps. 139:16); God already has good works planned for him (Eph. 2:10).
Second, I want him to connect God’s plans for him with God’s Kingdom plans for the Church at large (Eph. 4:11-16). What he ends up doing is meant to build up the church in maturity.
In our individualistic American culture, we fail to see that I am not the center of my universe. Rather, I am a small part of God’s universe.
It is humbling—yet very freeing—to recognize that I am not responsible for saving the world, but only for doing my part well and contributing it to the Kingdom purposes of God. Our contribution, whatever it is, is to prepare the bride to meet her Bridegroom.
Framed in this light, a new set of questions for my son emerges. What is your contribution? What course of study will prepare you best to do that work?
How about us?
While it is good to understand your spiritual gifts, make sense of your personal experiences, and appreciate your unique personality, they are all subservient to a greater purpose—utilizing all of those things to build up the body.
For me, this has been freeing because I want to be good at everything. When I was in high school, the goal was to be well-rounded. Now, for my son, I am rethinking that value and helping him pursue a different course.
Instead of getting involved in everything, we are selective in his pursuits. Rather than breadth, we are going for depth.
So it is with my own life. I am made to contribute something, not everything. That means I can then focus on that contribution, not spread myself thin.
Knowing this contribution and then investing my days to living it out is a huge part of a life of faith.
It means trusting that for the things I lack, God will provide others to fill in the need.
Faith also means putting who I am out there, even if it’s scary at times, to help and meet the needs of others.
When we do this, we then become the body of Christ. Your life brings something to mine. My life brings something to yours. Together, we help speak the Gospel and flesh out the truth of God.
God asks us to love Him, love others, and make disciples. But He doesn’t ask us to all do it in the same way. What’s your special contribution?
This takes time. We may hit. We may miss. But along the way, God unfolds that special role you play.
And that’s an exciting adventure.