“We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us...”
~Romans 12:6a (NRSV).
How special a God do we have that he’s placed us here—in our unique and situational circumstances—and brought us here to serve, and that, in special very ‘us’ ways!
God’s grace is never partial. God cannot favour one more than another; he blesses us equally, though we often cannot see that, especially when we see another serving in a capacity we so long to serve in.
Our Gifting Can Make Us Feel Pretty Special
Many people set their entire identity in their gifting and, of course, this is okay. The problem we have is keeping our egos in check regarding our gifting and how blessed we are. We can very easily begin to delude ourselves and this does tangible and intangible damage to the kingdom of God.
God wants us to feel special—beyond the gifting—to his Presence in our lives. It’s about him and not the gifting, which is but simply a concrete manifestation of his love.
If we love the gift more than the Giver of the gift—and we do this when the use of the gift outstrips our worship—we fall into idolatry.
Envying Another’s Gift or the Portion of Their Contribution
It is normal for the flesh to wrangle with the Spirit’s will—wishing another well at the use of their gift. It reveals a fear of personal lack and certainly of love prised from the grip of the threatened one.
When we envy by looking over the fence at what another has—wanting it—we feel abjectly unloved for that moment, disregarding all the love we may actually have. It doesn’t seem enough; it’s not as important as the love ‘over there.’
And this is our challenge; to seize the enviousness and conform it, in God’s love, to the truth: we are all abundantly gifted. We’re all loved equally by God.
Our Own Place – Our Very Own Gift – Used Magnificently
Perhaps when we feel envious, i.e. personally goal- or gift-threatened, we haven’t yet found our ‘sweet spot,’ or our very own niche, for the Lord yet.
This is okay. The best is still obviously yet to come.
Some of the most interesting people struggle most of their lives to find ‘what’ it is about them that’s so special for God. The point is, we don’t need to find this to be special to him, but we do need to find it so God can help us feel special about ourselves—that’s normal.
When we do find this place—and we inevitably will if we’re looking and praying with open ears, eyes and heart—we will have found the very meaning of life, as God attends, and the humdrum will give way to a smooth drive that sees us equally through the personal trials and triumphs. Life will start to make more sense.
Paul’s Point – Humility and Gifting
Paul uses the phrase, “sober judgment,” in this passage (Romans 12:1-8).
Although we will at times, we are to withhold thinking of ourselves more highly or lowly than the next person, especially, in this context, as far as the gifts are concerned. Comparisons in this way are not healthy and they lead us off God’s holy path for us.
The gift is secondary at best. Let us strive to never forget what is primary.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.