Today, I’m most thankful for uniqueness. God has this amazing way of creating each of us so purposefully and differently. As I think of members of my family and friends, I can’t help but recognize that each of them have their own unique attributes that define who they are. But, more than that, my friends and family who have personal relationships with Jesus have unique attributes that define WHOSE they are.
Some examples? Glad you asked. 🙂
My mom. My mom is unique in her ability to remain steadfast. She’s a loyal and devoted follower of Jesus who faithfully prays for those around her while also working as a reliable and trustworthy nurse.
My dad. My dad is unique in his ability to be a giver. He’s constantly giving of his resources, energy, and time to meet the needs of others. I’ve never known anyone to give as cheerfully as my dad.
My husband. My husband is unique in his ability to have faith. His trust and unwavering belief that God is in control has helped our family weather some intense storms.
I could go on and mention my sister and her loyalty and determination..my friend, Anna, and her ability to listen and encourage..my friend, Mandy and her ability to be authentic..my friend, Becca, and her ability to challenge me straight to my core.. And many, many more who have deeply impacted my life. But, reality is, these aren’t abilities at all, are they? No, rather, they are gifts.
Romans 12 helps us to understand what this means for us in verses 3-8. Paul begins by challenging each of us not to think more highly of ourselves than we should but to, rather, focus on our purpose. I believe that each of us have been placed on this earth for the same reason..to live in fear/awe of God and for that to come out in each aspect of our lives. But, within that purpose, God has uniquely designed us to fulfill different roles. As believers, we are described in this passage as the “body of Christ” with every appendage, organ, and body part serving a specific function. We are called to work together, using these unique gifts, to care for one another. You see, not one part of the body can fulfill the purpose given by itself. We need and were designed to work as a unit–recognizing one another’s gifts that have been given by the grace of God and using the gifts we have been given to fulfill our unique role within the body.
This has been on my heart for some time because most of us struggle to be a part of the body as we should. We either seek to take on life on our own, believing that we can handle it, or, with the swing of the pendulum, we rely so heavily on others in the body to fulfill the purpose we’ve all been given that we don’t put any effort to using our gifts as God intended. Paul answers this issue in the verses immediately following the passage about our gifts being used within the body.
Verses 9-13 from the amplified version of God’s Word teach us how we ought to interact within the body of Christ:
“Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; 11 never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; 12 constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], 13 contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality.”
We have the responsibility to trust God’s plan in creating the body of Christ. Using the gifts we’ve been given, we are to love on, diligently serve, and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. My desire is to hear of and see more Jesus followers becoming engaged in their local churches and using their gifts to help fulfill the purpose of the body of Christ as well as encouraging fellow believers to do the same. Let’s, together, lift the name of Jesus high, live in awe of who He is, and work together to serve Him by sharing this Hope we so securely rest in with the world.
You and your unique gifts are needed, important, God given, and useful. How would God have you use them today?
by His grace,