“But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
1 Corinthians 12:31b (ESV)
There’s nothing I desire more than to follow Jesus’ calling on my life. Yet I’ve often felt as if the pathway I’ve been on has consisted of disconnected stops and starts, of dead ends and detours. I believed that somehow, I had missed what Paul called “a still more excellent way.”
The career path out of college ended for me as full-time parenthood began. After the children went to school, I wasn’t sure continuing in the same field was right for me, and I floundered through a long season of trial and error. While I found many of my duties interesting, I struggled to see how my gifts were being used for God’s glory and none of it came across as special, sacred, or a predestined calling.
To better understand my place in God’s kingdom, I often studied scripture on spiritual gifts. In fact, the entirety of 1 Corinthians 12, speaks of spiritual gifts and valuing every member of the body of Christ. Yet, what part did I play in the church? Where was my more excellent way?
More than a decade had slipped by without a clear answer. I’d been knocking on the same door for so many years and was wearied by the question. I was tired of praying and sick of seeking. And so, I surrendered the search.
By this time, studying the Bible was my morning ritual. After so many years of the daily dig in scripture, I’d become quite experienced in it. I’d read, research, contemplate and write out the fascinating things found in God’s word. And occasionally I’d share my findings too.
So when I found myself reading 1 Corinthians 12:31 again, I decided to look up the word way, and was surprised by what I discovered. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, this specific use of this term was a metaphor “denoting a manner of thinking, feeling, or deciding.”
When the Apostle Paul was instructing the citizens of Corinth on a more excellent way of life, he was speaking to their hearts rather than a direct path of action. And he was speaking to me today as well. While I was hunting down the best job fit, Jesus (through Paul) was saying, “Hey, why are you striving so hard? Love is the excellent way!”
Friend, if you’re struggling to see how your daily grind is blessing others or wondering if you’re on the right path to your calling, pause and take a breath. Find a moment to be still and ask yourself, in what manner am I thinking, am I feeling, or decision making? Is it love that motivates me? The answer to these questions will direct you on Love’s more excellent way of living.
Sharon has been writing and teaching biblically based curriculum, Bible studies, and devotionals since 2007.
She has had the unique position of writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.
Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to speak in Leadership camps intended on encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young women.
Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.
Sharon and her husband, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.
Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is working towards a degree in Ministry.
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