Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of other, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. ~ Romans 12:4-8, NIV
In the verses just before the ones above, scripture says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has give you.” v. 3 I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t have a problem with thinking more highly of myself than I ought. I am more likely to feel intimidated by someone exercising their spiritual gift. I sometimes feel like a grasshopper in comparison to them.
I am very glad that these verses don’t just mention spiritual gifts that seem extraordinary, like prophesying, leading, and teaching others, but also gifts that are ordinary, such as serving, encouraging, giving, and showing mercy. Later, in verse 13, showing hospitality is also mentioned. In this life it is easy to compare ourselves to others and either see ourselves as “one up” which can contribute to us feeling superior to others or “one down” feeling like the grasshopper. I have discovered that when instead I compare my present self to my past self I can see how far I have come, how much I have grown. Then I can feel good about God’s work in my life without comparing myself to another’s walk with God.
There is a commercial where a man says something like, “I am not a control freak; I am a control enthusiast.” I (half) jokingly tell my husband the same thing: “I am a control enthusiast.” As such, I would like to choose the gifts and graces God gives me. Big things! Great things! But what I hear God telling me at present is, “Remind my people to pray. Remind them to spend time with me.” So here I am, trying not to compare my message with the message others have been given and I give to you what I have received: Please remember to pray. Please remember to spend time with God each day.