Read His Words Before Ours!
The woman crossed the platform gracefully. Her heels clicked softly as she stepped up to the podium and adjusted the microphone. Her makeup was perfect; every hair was in place. Her attire was vibrant and her smile genuine. However, as she began to speak, all thoughts of her appearance vanished from my mind as I was drawn into her story.
My heart ached through most of it.
I was quickly convinced that she was a hero.
She had suffered incredible physical, mental and emotional abuse at the hands of her own husband. The man who had promised to love her and cherish her had violated the sacred trust she placed in him…to the point of her own near-death. When she approached her father and family for help, they refused her. Citing cultural excuses, they turned their backs to her. Worse, they even helped him find her again. The woman’s voice resonated with strength, courage, and undeniably…love. When she said that she had forgiven the man that had taken so much from her, her honesty was unquestionable.
She meant every word.
She had been dealt some of the ugliest, darkest cards of humanity, but through the grace of God she had survived, thrived, and was actively working with a team to rescue women in similar situations all around the globe. I marveled over how God had taken a woman who had suffered such tragedy and molded her into the brave, eloquent speaker who stood before us that day. I wiped tears from my own cheeks several times, and the audience was silent, save the occasional muffled sob. We all clapped loudly when she finished speaking.
I wish I could help people like she does! The thought flitted through my mind before I realized what was happening. Next to the real life-or-death difference she was making in the world, my own day-to-day giftings seemed miniscule by comparison. I shivered at the thought of teaching crowds of people and sharing such intimate and harrowing experiences…public speaking was definitely not my strong suit. Nonetheless, I allowed my own giftings of encouragement and leadership to seem less important at that moment. Although I was not jealous of her life or experiences, my mental comparison was wrong.
How often have each of us compared our own giftings to those of another?
Our intention may not have been to insult our Father, but in comparing or measuring the gifts God placed within each of us,
we are ultimately questioning His sovereignty.
As humans, we tend to fall short in the self-evaluation category. We either think we are better than we are, stoking the flames of pride…or we view ourselves through a harsh lens, devoid of grace. As we waver from one extreme to the other,
we forget that we belong to each other…and to Him.
He created each of us and designed every person for a specific purpose within the Body of His Church.
What we often fail to realize is that when we deny the giftings He placed within us, we are hurting ourselves as well as the church at large. Rather than compare our gifts with those of another, maybe we should try on trust for a change.
Maybe we should try being honest with ourselves, communicating with God about His purpose in giving those gifts to us, and how He would have us walk in them.
Rather than measure ourselves against what we may deem “more important”, perhaps we should use His word as our barometer.
His heart is that each of us will choose to be repurposed in His image and to walk in the gifts He has given us with love. When we each choose to accept our unique giftings and seek ways we can walk in them, we will begin to see incredible breakthrough in the body of Christ!
Walls of division and comparison will be torn down,
spiritual strongholds will be broken,
and we will begin functioning as the discipling community He intended us to be.
Our influence with the world around us will become greater and will draw in the lost and the hurting people who are searching for belonging, authenticity, and safe refuge in Christ.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!