If your gift is serving, devote yourself to serving others.Romans 12:7
εἴτε διακονίαν, ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ,
if ministry, in the ministry;
You can see the word used here. διακονίᾳ / διακονίαν. It is variously translated in the versions as follows:
- (AMP) [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving;
- (ASV) or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry;
- (BBE) Or the position of a Deacon of the church, let a man give himself to it;
- (CEV) If we can serve others, we should serve.
- (EMTV) whether ministry, let us use it in our ministry;
- (ESV) if service, in our serving;
- (GW) If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving.
- (KJV) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering:
- (LITV) or ministry, in the ministry;
- (MSG) if you help, just help, don’t take over;
- (NLT) If your gift is serving others, serve them well.
- (YLT) or ministration–`In the ministration!’
Some may wonder where the BBE gets the reading “the position of a deacon in the church”. In fact the word διακονίᾳ comes from the same root word as διακονος from which we get the word deacon. We may like to think of the concept as being that of an officer of the church. A deacon deaconing. But the term basically means servant, one who serves others. We like to talk about our ministry, but our ministry is service, serving others. Paul often referred to himself as the Lord’s servant. He had a healthy perspective of his “ministry”. Yes not only is the sense one of ministering to others, serving others but it may well be referring to a gift of administration – as the BBE and YLT have picked up on. Maybe even the AMP when it refers to practical service.
Paul is still saying the same thing I referred to in looking at Prophecy – focus on your gift and serve in exercising it alone. If your gift is ministry, then minister. If prophecy then prophesy. Don’t look over the fence to another gift. Do that which the Lord has given you to do. That includes the administration. Or as one of my friends calls it “administrivia”. No matter how trivial your gift may seem, it is your gift and that which the Lord has given you. Do it for all you’re worth. Do it passionately and do it to the best of your ability. The body can’t function if all the bases are not covered. All the parts need to be pulling their weight to enable the whole organism to move forward. I am sure the armpit does not want to be an armpit. The armpit is synonymous with being smelly, sweaty and objectionable. But the armpit is essential to bodily function. Ever wondered why the doctors can stick thermometers in the area where we spray our underarm deodorant? It is because it’s an area from which we can take readings of body temperature. It is important in the body’s cooling system. And for that reason is prone to smelling. But the health of the body is dependent on it.
Oh being in one of those armpit roles may be hard – administrivia or where we just do a boring monotonous job. But which is essential to the smooth running of the tasks on the frontlines. An army can’t survive if everyone is a soldier. There have to be those behind the frontlines who supply the frontlines with goods and services or fix up the wounded. Without those other roles the army would cease to function. Am I making my point? For those of you in administrivia roles don’t lose heart. You are an essential part of the team. As Paul would say if your gift is “admin” do your admin and don’t focus on the other gifts. Don’t look at the more glamorous gifts. In your serving in admin, just do admin and get on with the job.
Your reward will be great in heaven!Anon
Many want to serve God, but only as advisors.Ian Vail
God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.Anon
Prayer: don’t give God instructions; just report for duty.Anon