So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12 NRSV)
Perhaps you know the story of Rene Russo. Rene is one of the most glamorous women in Hollywood, and has acted in movies with such mega-stars as John Travolta, Kevin Costner, and Mel Gibson. These things are at least external indicators of success. But for many years, Rene Russo did not feel successful inside. She was miserable. After dropping out of school in her teens, Ms. Russo was discovered by an agent, and moved to New York to model. She thought that getting jobs and recognition would make her happy, but it didn't. The money and the glamour were not enough. Her low self-esteem made her feel like no amount of success was enough. She kept thinking that business success or people around her could fill the void, could make her happy. But nothing did.

So Rene Russo dropped out of the business. She left behind her successful and glamorous career, and began taking classes in theology. For four years, Rene Russo studied theology, and slowly she began to realize that her lack of self-esteem stemmed from a lack of faith. She had been going through life without any purpose, no reason for doing the things she did. She had been unaware of her gifts, and had set no goals for her life. As she learned more about faith, she understood that every life has a purpose, and that every person has something special to contribute.

Dear Jesus, help me to know that I am special and have something to contribute to your children. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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