What if you believe God has given you a spiritual gift, but you don’t have the desire to serve others? One of the greatest obstacles of utilizing your spiritual gifts is a lack of desire. Often this lack of desire will also create a lack of time in your schedule. If you don’t really want to serve others, it’s unlikely you’ll make time to do it.
Sure, in theory we all want to be selfless, but how can we be expected to if the desire just isn’t there? Do we need to wait until our hearts are inclined to serve before we jump in?
A parable Jesus told the religious leaders can speak to us when we’re in this place. The story of these two sons shows us what to do when our initial reactions aren’t yet in agreement with what we know God wants for us.
“A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” | Matthew 21:28-31
We know that each of us has been uniquely equipped by God to bring Him glory by serving others. Even if you don’t know what your gifting is yet, you have a gift that God wants you to use. We can’t hide behind a lack of desire because we know the truth. Knowing what God wants for us and not submitting to for any reason isn’t just procrastination—it’s disobedience.
What if we only worked out when we felt like it? Or, what if we held off on saving money into we had a passion for it? Would you let your kids only eat vegetables when he or she had a hankering for them? Of course not. Sometimes we have to make the hard choice to do what we know is best so that our affections will begin to follow our actions.
There’s a poem I think about it often when “I just don’t feel like it” when it comes to serving others. I’ll find all kinds of other excuses as well, but that’s usually where it begins. Mother Teresa—a woman who didn’t seem to have any trouble with serving—had a copy of it hung in her children’s home in Calcutta. The first two “commandments” of this poem read, “People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; do good anyway.”
So, when you start feeling like you want to tell God “no thanks” to using your gifts, change your mind and do it anyway.