I hope that this speaks to all of you today…as women it so easy to forget what God has blessed us with because we are too busy looking at what we think He has blessed other people with…
“But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.” 1 Corinthians 12:18 (ESV)
Oddly enough, I’m thinking about plastic knives today. You know, the kind you get with your to-go meal at restaurants, packaged with a plastic fork, spoon, and napkin?
For years I ditched the plastic knife, thinking they are a waste of energy and not very useful at cutting my food. Steak, chicken, pot roast …metal knives slice right through these, but not plastic knives. Hard foods are not their forte. Where plastic knives do excel, however, is in cutting fresh from the oven, piping hot brownies!
Have you ever cut brownies with a table knife and made a ragged mess out of them? Well, I’ve discovered a way to enjoy them, and keep them in tact, while they’re still warm. I’ve used this trick successfully for years, as my hips will attest. Nice squares of warm, gooey chocolate goodness with smooth edges can be yours when cut with a plastic knife.
Knowing plastic knives’ special knack for cutting brownies, I use them specifically for that purpose. I don’t try to cut cardboard, steak or wood with them. That would be a senseless misuse of their gifts.
Oh, but how often have I misused my gifts or stepped away from my natural talents, attempting something I am not really cut out to do? This usually leads to frustration and a mess.
The point is this: God designed each one of us with certain abilities, but we tend to look at the abilities of the other women and we get caught in the comparison trap. We try to emulate her gifts and her talents when God has called us to something totally different.
Some of my friends have better culinary skills. Some of my friends train their children better than I. Some of my friends are well organized. Some of my friends…well, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: What am I going to do with what I am?
Paul puts it this way in I Corinthians 12.17-19: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?” (ESV)
In what way has God gifted you? Have you yet to use that talent for His glory? Are you a wonderful hostess? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is a teacher. Are you an organizer? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is creative. Are you great with children? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who writes the newsletter.
After many years of anguish over my place in this world, or in my church, or in a women’s group, I’ve come to embrace that which God has blessed me with. And I’ve decided I love being a plastic brownie knife!
Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and talents You’ve given each of us. Please show us where we are most useful for Your kingdom and Your purposes. Give us boldness to carry out Your will especially when it might be an unexpected task. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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