What Good Thing Are You Known
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
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 mine).
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.
1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”