An online magazine for pastors and church leaders.

Take a little break these days in December and re-center yourself with these devotions from the Sunday| Mag contributors.

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don?t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:8-10)

I had a friend who was phenomenally creative?a master musician. I knew he had the potential to go far in the music biz. Unfortunately, he was a bit of a jerk. He didn?t treat people well, which was a symptom of the fact that he didn?t really love people.

I always drilled into him: You need to learn how to work well with people. It doesn?t really matter how talented you are? If people don?t like working with you, they won?t work with you.

Years later, that?s what?s happening. He isn?t doing much of anything with his incredible talent. He never learned the idea of goodness.

I don?t care what gift God has given you?leadership, creativity, storytelling?if you don?t hold tightly to what is good, you will never achieve the potential of that gift.[quote]If you don?t hold tightly to what is good, you will never achieve the potential of your?gift.[/quote]

This verse in Romans is all about that. Yes, Paul talks about the different gifts God gives us to accomplish his purposes. But it?s sandwiched between verses about learning how to be holy and how to treat others properly.

One without the others is not enough.

Let?s let goodness and mercy follow us all of the days of our life. And let?s extend that same thing to those around us, as we dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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