I have Asperger’s Syndrome. How can I serve God as an Aspie?Question: "I have Asperger’s Syndrome. How can I serve God as an Aspie?"
Answer: First, you should always remember that God loves you and you are “remarkably and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14, HCSB). You are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). It’s also important that you not view Asperger’s Syndrome as a disability; as an Aspie, you simply have a different way of thinking. You process information differently. It’s true that Asperger’s Syndrome brings its own set of challenges in life, but your relationship with Jesus is based on His grace, not your condition.
The Bible is the guidebook for all of us, regardless of whether or not we have Asperger’s Syndrome. Scripture is capable of thoroughly equipping you for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17), regardless of your Asperger’s. Philippians 2:12 says, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” This means you should keep on growing in your walk with God. Keep studying the Bible, keep praying, and keep trusting Jesus.
Asperger’s is real, but it doesn’t have to be your identity. As a Christian, “your life is now hidden with Christ in God. . . . Christ . . . is your life” (Colossians 3:3–4). You may have Asperger’s, yet you can still be an obedient child of God.
Don’t allow Asperger’s to numb your sensitivity to God’s Word. Remember that, in the ministry, some level of social interaction is necessary. Fulfillment of the Great Commission entails some measure of personal contact. Interacting with others may be outside your comfort level, but you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13). Set goals in regards to social interaction, and pray for God’s strength. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). You don’t have to be somebody you’re not; just be the person God created you to be, grow in the Lord (2 Peter 1:5–8), and be a light to those around you (Matthew 5:16).
As a believer with Asperger’s, you are part of the Body of Christ. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body . . . and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:12–14). Not only is interaction beneficial within the Body of Christ, it is needed. Better yet, you are needed! You make up one of these many parts of the Body of Christ, and those in the church need you.
Second Peter 1:1–11 is worth some study, because it shows us what the Lord gives us as we grow in our faith and trust in Him. What we gain in Him far surpasses any discomfort we may experience, and He has given us everything we need to live godly lives for Him.
God gives us all different gifts and abilities, and He has given you gifts and abilities, too. The Lord is aware of your Asperger’s; in fact, He knows exactly what you struggle with and the trouble you have in social and sensory areas. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to use you the way you are. God may give you a ministry that requires little or no social interaction, or He may place you somewhere that will stretch your comfort level. Either way, He will help you follow Him, giving you opportunities to serve Him in ways that will use your talents and gifts.
Don’t despair! There is a place for you. Just ask God to reveal it to you. Tell Him you want to honor Him by being Christlike (remembering that Christlikeness is found in humility and other internal virtues, not just service) and be willing to be used by the Lord. Then ask Him to put you somewhere where you can best glorify God.
To paraphrase Romans 8:37–39, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that Asperger’s Syndrome (or anything else) will never be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Recommended Resource: Asperger's From the Inside Out by Michael John Carley
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