Your heart and personality reveal God's purpose
By Rick Warren
— January 13, 2010
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that .... Galatians 6:4b (Msg).
Another way to determine how you can serve others is to ask yourself such questions as:
- What do I really enjoy doing most?
- When do I feel the most fully alive?
- What am I doing when I lose track of time?
- Do I like routine or variety?
- Do I prefer serving with a team or by myself?
- Am I more introverted or extroverted?
- Am I more a thinker or a feeler?
- Which do I enjoy more—competing or cooperating?
Examine your experiences and extract the lessons you've learned. Review your life and think about how it has shaped you. Moses told the Israelites, "Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him." (Deuteronomy 11:2 TEV)
Forgotten experiences are worthless; that's a good reason to keep a spiritual journal. Paul worried that the believers in Galatia would waste the pain they had been through. He said, "Were all your experiences wasted? I hope not!" (Galatians 3:4 NCV)
We rarely see God's good purpose in pain or failure or embarrassment while it is happening. When Jesus washed Peter's feet, he said, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." (John 13:7 NIV)
Only in hindsight do we understand how God intended a problem for good.
Extracting the lessons from your experiences takes time. I recommend that you take an entire weekend for a life review retreat, where you pause to see how God has worked in the various defining moments of your life and consider how he wants to use those lessons to help others.
This will give you very clear direction on the ways he wants you to minister to others.