Use What You’ve Got! by Carolyn Tucker

Carolyn Tucker. Submitted photo.

Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker

My Mom was an extraordinary country cook who knew her way around in the kitchen. She was like the Proverbs 31 woman of excellence. She joyfully practiced hospitality, which has nearly become a lost art in today’s society. As a kid, I can remember Mom baking pies to take to families that had lost a loved one. She never explained the reason she did this, and I was too young to understand why. All I knew was that if someone died, you needed to take a pie to the house. As I look back, I realize that she was simply showing her love by doing what she could. She happily stayed in her comfort zone and delivered a smile and a warm pie to a hurting family.

The Word of God contains many examples of people using what they had to make a difference. Benaiah was a heroic soldier who was armed only with a staff, but he wrenched the spear from an Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. God asked Moses, “What do you have there in your hand?” And he replied, “A shepherd’s rod.” Moses used this stick to perform supernatural miracles of God. Shamgar saved Israel from disaster when he killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad. When the strength of the Lord came upon Samson, he picked up a donkey’s jawbone and killed 1,000 Philistines.

Rahab hung a red rope out of her window and saved the lives of all her family. A brave woman named Jael had a hammer and a sharp tent peg which she pounded through the enemy’s head and secured victory for Israel. Dorcas had a needle and thread and sewed clothing for the poor. Mary had oil of spikenard and used it to anoint Jesus’ feet, plus she had long hair and used it to wipe His feet.

When believers use what they have to help others, they’re pleasing God. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Everyone has something they can use to serve and bless others. Everyone has at least one gift, and most have several gifts, that can benefit other people. Jesus is the best example for Christians to follow. “Jesus went around doing good…” (Acts 10:38 NLT). There are no complicated rules or regulations, so just do it. My sister-in-law has a sewing machine and she made 24 therapeutic corn bags last winter and gave them away.

If you truly want to live a life of love and do good, remember to “stay within your gifting.” I’ve learned some important things down through the years and here’s one of them: There’s joy and satisfaction in doing what God has gifted you to do. But on the flipside, there’s misery and frustration in trying to do what God has not gifted you to do. If you love it and you’re good at it, then that’s what God created you to do — so do it and you‘ll find fulfillment. When you use your gift to focus on others‘ needs, God will ultimately be glorified and honored.

When Jesus was eating supper in Bethany at Simon’s home, a woman came in with a beautiful flask of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. Jesus complimented her expression of love and said, “She has done what she could…“ (Mark 14:8 NLT).

The Key: Use what you’ve got and do what you can.

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