Monday Motivation: You Have What it Takes

You Have What it Takes
I like…no, LOVE sports. The concept of TEAM, and every piece being able to contribute one or many specific skills toward winning games appeals to me. For a long time though, I struggled to find how I fit on a team. In what way was I gifted to serve the people around me? What was my contribution to winning souls for God’s Kingdom?

I remember a few years ago, being in this place where for the first time in my life, I was facing the threat of having to speak publicly. My personality was more reserved, and it terrified me. I remember at the time asking myself, “How can I possibly have an impact in people’s lives if I can’t even speak in front of a few people?”

As human beings we tend to question ourselves constantly. We scrutinize every aspect of our abilities—our strengths, our weaknesses. But we often forget that Christ’s Word says…

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. -Phil 4:13

So why do we find it so hard to find ways to serve Christ and the people around us?

I failed to understand that speaking words of testimony and encouragement in front of a large crowd is not the only way to make an impact.

Take a random basketball team, let’s say, the Miami HEAT for instance.  The fact is, on a team of five starters, three players do the bulk of the scoring. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh carry the load of the offense in the system coached by Erik Spoelstra. They are the most visible, but the other two starters, Joel Anthony and Mario Chalmers are just as valuable.

The coach of the Miami HEAT is often asked about the importance of those “other” non-superstar players on the team. He often refers to them as “warriors”, “defensive stoppers” and will often describe their role as being much more important than what the eye can see. And it’s true, any sports analyst will tell you that Joel Anthony is strong and agile and perfect for the HEAT’s athletic style of defense. And that Mario Chalmers’ ability to knock down open three-pointers is part of what forces open space on the basketball court and in turn allows Lebron James and company to score points.

So I asked God to show me ways to be able to witness, do ministry and touch lives. The answer was simple. He showed me that He had already given me the tools I needed to be able to serve. What was it? Ironically, I found myself on a missions trip one week talking about the Miami HEAT with friends I met while serving at Safe House Outreach in Atlanta. These were men, some of which did not know the Lord. Some didn’t have homes to call their own. Some had little reason to be positive about life.

So there I found myself, debating sports everyday. Hearing different opinions and stands. Finding myself defending my team, supporting others, analyzing players. But finding myself connecting to the people around me. Building relationships with people who opened up to me as we found common ground. Finding that finally, all those hours of ESPN every week were finally paying off.

I found a way that was easy for me. It was an open path to being able to share about God’s love, asking about my friends’ needs, and serving them more effectively.

God can use you. In many ways, using gifts you never thought useful.

What I learned was that He will continue to use you and cultivate the skills in you to do even more. Years later, I look back and realize that I have spoken in front of more crowds than I ever expected. I do it nervously, and often awkwardly, but I understand now that ME doesn’t matter and that it is for God’s glory and knowing that makes it infinitely easier. I see God doing things through me that I would have never thought possible.

You have what it takes to serve in an effective way. Don’t concern yourself with how glamorous your role is or how smooth or personable you think you are or aren’t. God can and will use you. Just be ready when your time comes to knock down that open three-pointer.

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    • About the Author
    • avatar
    • Matt Nestor
    • A man of few words and many jokes, Matthew J. Nestor makes his home on a laptop where he crafts graphics and tweets. Matt is currently serving as a student leader at Collision. You can follow him on Twitter @matthewjnestor.

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