Oops…I Did It Again
I recently wrote a post about being a better servant. Dang, it’s hard when serving isn’t a natural gifting from God. Anytime we step outside our comfort zones it is difficult. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself chanting, “Oops, I did it again,” when it comes to servant hood. Forming new habits isn’t easy even IF one has just written a post on “how to” do it.
Last week a young single mother crossed my path. She was glowing because she had just landed a much-needed job. However, the one concern that did darken her spirits was her employers dress code . . . she needed some new shirts. Oops, I did it again and missed the perfect opportunity to serve this young mother. Can you relate?
In talking with this young woman it was easy to offer a myriad of options to her clothing conundrum, and she happily nodded with each suggestion. However, I missed what would have been a perfect solution for that moment in time because I did not grab her by the hand and take her shopping! Oops, I did it again . . . another missed opportunity. My serving faux pas didn’t even occur to me until a couple minutes AFTER I drove off waving to her and her precious little one. Not 10 minutes later (when I had a chance to pick up my phone and follow up), she was gone and so was a beautiful moment to serve. Oops.
My recent post shared that “seeking” was a huge part of being a good servant and included two components of searching. The first was studying God’s Word in order to learn what a servant of God looks like. The “academic” part of serving comes easy for many of us because it dwells in our heads. However, the second component can leave even the best-intentioned Christian feeling stupid: looking for and recognizing opportunities to actually serve!
God understands our “oops” moments and doesn’t intend them to become guilt-ridden whips to turn on ourselves. However, even the worst “oops” can become a tool to foster improvement in areas where we are weak. Obviously, for me it’s in the area of serving. Maybe it is for you, too. Or maybe you need to become more intentional somewhere else. We are all different, but probably more alike in the arena of “oops” than we care to admit.
God has been working on my heart for over a year and serving is one place I’m slowly improving. God is showing me how to turn missed opportunities into power. How? Well, as God develops my servant’s heart, I find myself feeling more of a pinch upon failure. Are you going through anything similar as God grows you? That is a sure sign of progress, so do NOT beat yourself up. Embrace it and develop a strategy for success the next time.
I’ve started seeking servant opportunities before I even leave the house. My morning prayers now include my desire for God to let me bless someone during the day. I also pray to recognize and act on any service situation I happen upon. That step sets my mind on intentionality for the entire day. It helps! Maybe prayer is a good place for you to begin. But, also don’t be afraid to act when the time is right, no matter what action is required. I sometimes remind myself to “pray on the way” so I don’t talk myself out if with excuses like, “what difference is this really going to make,” or “someone else will help.”
Don’t think this makes me perfect, because it doesn’t. I’m pretty sure that there will be more missed opportunities, but I’m confident they won’t be as numerous. That makes me smile because God doesn’t ask us to be perfect; He wants us to be faithful. Jesus was the only perfect person who walked on the earth, but we are capable of reflecting Him to others.
So, not matter where you are weak (serving, encouraging, studying, worshiping, evangelizing, etc) will you join me in being more intentional to reduce our “oops, I did it again” moments?
If you would like to read Shona’s post on serving, you will find it as you scroll through our Inspirational Posts! God Bless you, you will so much enjoy reading all of Shona’s post and those of all our wonderful writers! PRAISE GOD!
©2013 Shona Neff