We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8
During my Junior and Senior years in high school, I played on the varsity tennis team and was a fairly good competitor within our region. The key to being quasi-good at tennis is to have a fast and accurate serve. If your serve gets in the box with speed and spin, then it’s considered a great serve. To develop a great serve one must practice, practice, practice. Practice makes it easier to serve consistently with accuracy and speed.
The same is true for Christianity. To be a great Christian, you must be good at serving. To be good at serving, you must firmly embrace and continually use the gifts God has graciously given you. In other words, you must practice, practice, and practice again your gift seeking God’s help in its perfection. Perhaps that is what the Apostle Paul was trying to tell the early Christians in Rome in today’s passage. Paul knew that God gave each of these Christians different gifts. These included prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and mercy. These gifts were given so they might graciously serve their fellow man in love. Therefore, with the love of Christ in their hearts, they should graciously practice using their gifts.
The same is true for those of us afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. God has endowed each of us with gifts which we can still use to help our fellow man. As long as we have love in our hearts, then we can serve and bless others. The key to serving is love. The key to love is Christ. Alzheimer’s really doesn’t have a say in the matter.
So how is your serve today? Is it a bit off since your diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease? Have you been reluctant to serve because you are embarrassed or you are mad at God because of your illness?
Do not become a selfish slave to Alzheimer’s disease. You belong to Christ and He is your master. He still loves you despite the disease and He expects you to continue to use your gifts in some manner. So get out there and serve! You will find favor in His heavenly eyes.