I have profound friends.That is, I have friends who make profound statements. Like, "I'm not going to beat myself up over that." OK. Here's the context: We were in Precepts Tuesday discussing our final lesson on spiritual gifts, sharing the "big thing" we learned that will stick with us. My friend spoke of realizing what her gift is - and what it ISN'T. She said she has come to understand that when she is in a circumstance which calls for something she cannot do, she's going to recognize God has not gifted her in that way and, "I'm not going to beat myself up over that."I thought, Wow. That is some wisdom right there!And we took a short, worth-while rabbit trail talking about our tendency (Especially women!) to compare ourselves with one another and become disappointed with who we are NOT.Have you been there, too???That evening, those words of wisdom came to my mind again. I was with that same profound friend at an Advent Tea where I was speaking. We were walking around before the program began, admiring the tables which ladies had beautifully set-up and decorated. As we marveled at a particularly charming center-piece I said to her, "That right there is something I could NOT do. Not my talent!" I mean, I can appreciate beauty and creativity with the best of them. But to think it up, and put it together? Not gonna happen!Then I turned to her and said, "And I'm not going to beat myself up over that!"
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good...All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines...But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, everyone of them, just as he wanted them to be.~1 Corinthians 12:7,11,18You see, the thing is - when God equipped us with natural talents, and when He gave us our spiritual gift(s) at salvation, HE knew what HE was doing. God made you uniquely YOU. And HE only made one ME. (Am I hearing hallelujahs coming from my sons' rooms? *wink*) There is no reason for us to wish we were gifted like - or had the talents of - someone else. Because if God intended for us to be someone else, HE wouldn't have made US. Are you with me? God gave us spiritual gifts for the common good - for the edification of the body of Christ. So, let us operate in our gifts (and let us use our natural talents in that operation) to bring glory to God and to advance the kingdom. Let us celebrate and encourage one another in our roles, without envy or resentment. And let the LOVE of Christ flow through us as we do the things HE calls us to do. Full disclosure: Writing these thoughts is a whole lot easier for me than putting them into practice. (Comparison and feeling "less-than" are snares for me.) But by the grace of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am going to give it my full effort.Will you join me?