By Dr. Tara Jenkins
I can remember when everyone wanted a gold rope chain necklace to wear around their necks. Some people focused on how big the width of the rope was. Others focused on the length of the rope. Another group focused on the weight of the rope chain. Now, the weight of the rope was significant because this was the telling factor as to whether the chain was solid or hollow. If it was solid there was a greater value; however, if it was hollow then it was deemed a cheaper piece of jewelry and could easily break. Many makers of rope chains were known to create more pieces hollow, so that the jewelry would appear bigger although it had a lesser value.
Thank God we have a Creator that does not skimp on value. God made no creation hollow. He created us all with gifts and talents that He personally deposited within us for His purposes. These gifts and talents were not given for deposit only, rather they were given for withdrawal, based on God-determined Kingdom needs. However, many of us shut down from having those gifts and talents utilized for the Kingdom because we have been pained by parishioners in the pew.
Many have become too hurt to serve. Maybe it was something someone said, or something you think someone said that has placed you on the list of those who are too hurt to serve. There are three phases that an individual goes through when they are too hurt to serve. They become reserved, resistant and then resentful.
First of all, one can become reserved. When hurt, an individual can easily come to the conclusion, “The way to hurt less, is to participate less.” In this case the person becomes reserved from interaction. This person pulls back from using their gifts for the glory of God and to bless others because of past pain and future fear. This hurt individual restrains themselves from volunteering to assist in situations where they know that their gifts and talents could add value. They are now, uncommonly reserved. They go out of their way to stay in the safe place of inactivity believing immobility to be a pain-free zone. When reserved you are saying ‘no’ to yourself.
Secondly, when you are too hurt to serve, you become resistant. This resistance happens when others know your gifts, talents and experience. Nonetheless, when they offer the opportunity for you to serve, your response is an automatic no. This ‘no’ comes from a place of unwillingness and not inability. In this stage of being too hurt to serve, being resistant is saying ‘no’ to others.
Lastly, when you are too hurt to serve, you become resentful. At this stage you are resentful of the ministry as a whole because you associate the place with your pain. The sight of the building irks you. The idea of having to go to church plagues you. You dread interaction with people because of the pain you have experienced when using your gifts and talents for the Father. At this stage, when you are resentful you are saying ‘no’ to God. There is a bitterness that has taken root that has given you the unauthorized chutzpah to say ‘no withdrawals permitted’ to the God who deposited every gift within you.
Don’t allow your potential power to be snuffed out by past pain. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above. Each gift that’s from Him is FOR Him. Place your gifts in God’s hands and He’ll transform your reservation into revelation, your resistance into responsiveness and your resentment into resilience!