Monday, July 9, 2012

Praxis - rolling up our sleeves

I'm interested many times in words and their origins and meanings....I admit it; I'm a bit of a word nerd. I love to read, and raised three kiddos that love it, too. I have even seen one of them reading a dictionary.  Does that make some of you sad? (Grin)
Recently I heard the term "praxis" used.  Praxis usually refers to the process of putting theoretical or philosophical knowledge into practice. Hmmm, that sounds a lot like what we do in our Christian lives, to me!

Our “praxis” is the practical application and use of what is given to us by our Father. Paul says in Corinthians that the gifts are given to be used "for the common good," not just collected, admired, buried or envied. Not one of us, as a believer, lives to herself or dies to herself. A hallmark of a genuine member of Christ's body is that we are active members.
The kind of "roll up your sleeves" activity that we are talking about, is much more than just showing up at a worship service.  It is taking part; it is ministering your gift to the needs of others in the body of Christ, and outside of that body, too.

Paul gave a perfect illustration of this in his letter to the Corinthians: he used the analogy of the human body.
The eye may be attached, but if it doesn't see, what good is it? The foot may still be connected, but if it can't bear weight to walk, what use is it? Your heart may still be present in your chest, but if it’s not beating, it’s no use to you. The reason for its existence is to beat—to pump blood to the body.
There is a huge diversity in the gifts that are given to believers; we are all to be active. We are each part of the whole; we need to serve others in love.
Perhaps this is something that you can write in your journal:
  • What are your gifts?
  • What can you do to help others?
  • What do you care about?
  • What are you alert to?
  • What do others appreciate most about you?
After you consider those questions, and come up with your own answers, then you can determine if you are actively using your gifts.  Try to honestly decide: are you strengthening others, and helping them serve the Lord?
Paul listed some of the Spirit's gifts: preaching, serving, teaching, exhorting, comforting, contributing, leading, showing mercy, and more. (I Cor. 12:28-30)

Personally, I don't know what gifts you may have. That is between you and the Lord. But I do know the gifts that I have been given, and one of mine is teaching; another is exhorting. I am sure that some of my family and friends wish I'd been spooned out some more tactfulness, but I do the best that I can. (Grin)
So, that is why I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to talk to all of you (and myself, in good measure) on this blog. I've rolled up my sleeves and I'm trying my best to improve myself and to serve all of you.
I feel very honored to have all of you along for the journey. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

1 comment:

Belinda said...

Well Snoodles, it's no easy task writing a study blog, but you are excelling in my opinion and using your gift. I've never really known exactly what gifts I was given, but I know I'm not actively using whatever they are outside of my family life. I have excuses, but that's really all they are. I am having trouble not focusing on me and my immediate family, so that I can reach out to others.

I hope I am teaching my children (still) and my grandson about what it means to be a Christian.