Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | September 30, 2014

Give them a bright spot in their day

Today’s post is part of a series on “How we can use God’s gifts”. This series is meant to be a reminder and a celebration of different people using their unique gifts for God’s glory.

The guest writer for today’s blog post is Eric Fesmire, a father, musician, and accountant. Eric’s blog is here.

Those who know me probably expect this discussion to be about music and the creative arts. I’ve been blessed to serve in several churches as a worship/band leader over the years and currently play guitar for the worship band at The Chapel’s Lockport campus outside of Buffalo, NY. I recently got back into theatre thanks to my 13-year old son and even dabble a bit in writing…so I do consider those my gifting. However, I’m starting to discover an underlying gift that’s driving much of what I do in church and other places: a gift of enabling or empowering others.

I am, unfortunately, only Mr. “Artiste” at night. By day, I’m a mild-mannered repor…um…I mean…accountant for a healthcare company in Amherst, NY. Within months of being hired, we were bought by Aetna and I’ve spent the past two years helping to transition our Accounts Payable and purchasing functions to the new company. In that time, I have become an “answer man” of sorts when it comes to some of Aetna’s systems and processes. And I’ve found this gives me the opportunity to lift a weight off someone else’s shoulder; to relieve the stress that naturally comes from trying something new. When they can breathe a sigh of relief, I breathe one too. It’s rewarding…and surprisingly fun!

In the Bible, Jesus follows up His greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” with this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) We sometimes call this the Golden Rule. Elsewhere, this is stated as: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) We find here a framework for dealing with people. In my case, it’s also a framework for service and using this gift I’m learning more about daily.

I never considered myself much of a teacher. But I like to be informed and know that I learn a task better when I’m doing it instead of just watching. So, my approach at work is simple: if I prefer to learn by doing, others just might too. As much as we want to be unique (and each one of us is!) we were created by the same God with the same need for human interaction; for someone to tell us – and show us – that we can do it, whatever “it” may be. For me, the scripture above tells me to put the people before the task and make sure I’m keeping the bigger picture in mind. Only seeing the task before me is an incredibly narrow focus!

What about you? You may or may not have a natural bent (or should I say, the patience?) to help others in this way. That’s OK. We all have different gifts. But are there ways that you can “put the person before the task” in what you do? Sometimes just keeping the bigger picture in mind can go a long way in your service. I may just be the guitar player at church. But I can also recognize that people will see me on stage and, rightly or wrongly, assume I have some authority. How I handle that can make the difference between someone drawing closer to God…or never coming back! I love that God can use me in the arts. But I’m also learning to love that He can use me other places to help take stress away from people and give them a bright spot in their day.


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