Does it ever seem like everyone you talk to is “busy?” Do you ever catch yourself answering the question, “how are you,” with “busy?” Why are we so busy? Is busy good? Are we trying to impress people by being busy? Does busyness indicate that we are important people? Are we trying to avoid people or commitment? What are we busy doing? Why do I struggle to get people to commit to an event? Why do I struggle to get people to commit to leadership? Why are volunteer organizations always looking for more volunteers? Why do 20% of the people do 80% of the work?
Yet I am no better in my own life. I have been thinking about my time commitments. I guard my time. I am slow to commit. I am so good at guarding it that I can justify my lack of commitment. My excuse: I have a family and I need to spend time with them. I have even had students tell me that they know I’m busy. Ugh. So what is the answer to all of this business?
Over the past weekend I lead a workshop called, “Discover Yourself.” It is designed to help students start thinking about how God has designed them. The goal is to help find places they can serve in the fellowship. I have also been studying Romans. Last night I got to Romans 12:1-8.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
The first verse encourages us to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices.” What does that mean? In the context of the passage, Paul goes on to write about gifts being used to benefit the body of Christ. The gift is to used as a serve and benefit others. In verse 3, we are encouraged to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. In parallel passages such as 1 Corinthians 12, we are encouraged to see all of the gifts as the same. No one gift is more important than another. The important part of the passage is the use of the gifts. So we could say that we offer ourselves as living sacrifices when we humbly use the gifts God has given us.
What about verse 2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world?” As I thought about this, I thought about the business that our culture seems to celebrate. I’m not suggesting that we sit around all day and do nothing. On the contrary I encourage us to be out using our gifts. So how would we answer the question, “how are you?” I think we could use words like excited, encouraged, looking forward to what I have to do today. Why? Because we are genuinely excited about serving people.
In summary, it’s not about the business. Its about being busy with the right activities. Who knows, maybe we can start a revolution. What could we accomplish if we all put our gifts together and served others?
Okay so back to my own life. Do need to spend time with my family? Absolutely! But I could be serving while I am spending time with my family! I hope that as my children grow that we can go serve together in many different ways.
What is your experience? Are you busy with the right activities?