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Here there be pain


Serving others using what we are good at (e.g. passion, spiritual gifts, area of interest) is a great way to experience Spiritual Transformation, but it is not always the rush and excitement one would expect. Following Him in humility should come with a warning, like the maps used by explorers of old: Here there be pain. But His grace is enough.

Lately, we hear a lot about following one’s passion. This is supposed to be the antidote against boredom, apathy and burnout. But, don’t you find interesting that the definition of the word itself has undertones of pain and suffering? From


[pashuh n]


    1. the sufferings of Christ on the cross or His sufferings subsequent to the Last Supper.

    2. the narrative of Christ’s sufferings as recorded in the Gospels.

Archaic. the sufferings of a martyr.


Serving others using what you are passionate about it’s a great way to overcome cultural differences. It makes things easier to share with others your own story, with the hope of providing an opportunity for everyone to see Him more clearly.

But there will be pain.

Since humans and sin are involved, there will be pain.

Discouragement will come. Offenses will be exchanged. Lines will be crossed.

And that is why we must remember His grace for each of us, constantly. Remembering how much I have offended Him, and how much He has loved me and forgiven me should produce in my own heart a strong desire to extend that same grace to others, to those whom I am serving and who I think are offending me. Remembering how He treats me provides the example I must use on how to treat others.

And when my cultural preferences start to make gain in my attitude towards others, when the time comes – and it will – when I consider that my own culture is the standard by which everyone else should be measured, remembering His grace expressed in His Incarnation should provide the right point of reference, it should produce the humility I need to keep serving others for His glory, their benefit and my own Spiritual Transformation.

Now, I know all this is counter intuitive. After all, we are told that we must first love ourselves, that we must first look for what is good for us, and then we could be in a good place to serve others. When this idea presents itself, please consider this:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2

Serving others with the pursuit of your passion will bring some pain, but know that His grace is enough and at that moment of suffering His love, grace, care and transformation of your heart are going to be more clearly displayed for your own benefit.


Consider these questions: What are some of the reasons you are avoiding serving others using your passion? Are you too focused on what is convenient for you, and not on what would display His glory more clearly? Repent, confess, celebrate accordingly.


Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.
Alex Villasana


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