“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people — the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel.” Colossians 1:3-5 (NIV)
It started as an average night in the college cafeteria with my usual posse, the group of students I always ate dinner with. We were a group of young men and women who loved Jesus and adored each other. We thought everybody was just friends.
But then Charles stood to speak. “Everyone, Angie and I have something to tell you.”
Wait … what?! When did it become “Angie and I?” I wondered.
Charles paused for a moment, and then with a huge grin, he announced, “We’re engaged!”
That was all it took. With a shriek so loud the whole room turned to look, I jumped up and threw my hands in the air, followed by running, hugging and happy dancing. I was quite the spectacle.
Charles beamed at Angie and then back at me before he said, “And that is why we wanted to tell you first.”
There are lots of things I’m not known for:
- Yummy food coming out of my kitchen.
- Making a long story short.
- Keeping a happy secret.
Truthfully, it’s more comfortable to share my list of negatives than to tell you the good things I’m known for. Along the way, many of us have bought the lie that it’s selfish to develop our strengths, or that it’s virtuous to downplay the delightful traits we bring to the world, but God never meant for that to be so.
I’m known for joy and celebration. That’s a good thing since God Himself, my Creator, hard-wired me that way.
Before Paul’s encounter with Jesus, he was known for his education, his orthodoxy and his zeal for persecuting the church. But after he was transformed by his Savior, there was another trifecta that took over.
Faith. Love. Hope.
Over and over again in his letters, Paul refers to these three traits as valuable in God’s Kingdom. They are traits he both develops in himself and commends in others.
To the church at Colossae — a group he never met in person — Paul says, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people — the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel” (Colossians 1:3-5, emphasis added).
Paul wasn’t overly emotional. Yet he exudes joy when writing about the beautiful traits found in this group of believers: their faith, love and hope.
Most of our positive traits can fall into one of these categories. I believe my joy-filled heart and passion for celebrating are gifts God has given me to show love.
My friend Lynn prays the house down. She’s known for responding in faith and building it in others.
Suzie is a picture of God’s redemption and healing. She communicates hope to everyone who meets her. It’s what she’s known for.
Everyone’s known for something good. Today is the day to identify what you’re known for and leverage it!
Lord, You created me in Your image, weaving good traits into my being. Show me how I can leverage them in ways that bring You glory and bless the people around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)
We get it — Revelation is hard to read and understand. It can be scary reading about fire and dragons and the world ending. But, we don’t have to fear because the end of this story is good. Our redemption will be made complete. Jesus is coming back, and He says: “‘… Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Revelation 21:5, ESV, emphasis added). Join us as we study Revelation: All Things New in the First 5 app on July 20! Order the Experience Guide here.
In Amy Carroll’s book, Exhale, she and co-author Cheri Gregory lead women to “Love Who You Are” in God-honoring, healthy ways. Grab a copy today!
Amy loves celebrating every part of life — family, faith and friends — on her Facebook page. Join her there today!
REFLECT AND RESPOND
If we asked people who love you what you’re known for, what would they say? How can you bless someone with one of those traits today?
Do some lie-busting. Instead of agonizing over what you’re not, take a bold step and share what you’re known for in the comments. We want to celebrate you!
© 2020 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries believes the Bible is clear about the sins of racism and injustice. To read our full response, click here.