“[S]peaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:15-16, NIV).”
There are many things which make no good sense to me, but one that truly makes me shake my head is the concept of jealousy–especially in the Body of Christ. When you get right down to it, jealousy says God got it right with you, but He failed with me–He didn’t give me enough; He didn’t make me as good as you. Pastor Gregory Dickow would call it “wrong thinking.” I call it just plain stupid.
We cannot all do the same job–or possess the same gift–in the exact same manner. Just as there are many vocal artists who do not sing the same, or rise to the same career heights as others, so it is within the Body of Christ. There are many who have giftings for teaching, healing, and helping but exercise their gifts in different ways. Nevertheless, like the various artists who sell many hits, a multitude of Christians are doing mighty works within, and for, the Kingdom of God. It would have been ridiculous for Luther Vandross to be jealous of Marvin Gaye, or Phyllis Hyman to envy Minnie Riperton [clearly, I am dating myself]. Each had a unique style–appreciated on its own merits. Each performed with excellence, and whether one sold one thousand or one million records, each made an invaluable contribution to the music industry.
Within the Body of Christ we’ve each been given gifts to use (Romans 12:3-8) to usher in salvation and grace to the unbelievers of this world. We should not waste time comparing ourselves to one another or (worst of all) sitting idle when we could be a blessing. As one possessing the gift of teaching (as well as operating in the office), I am not jealous of another teacher. In fact, I’m grateful that I have others to share the responsibility with me. There are far too many people to reach with the Gospel for one or a few to accomplish the task. There are countless people who will not be able to accept my style of teaching; even more who will refuse to consider that I speak the truth simply because I am a woman. For those, God has entrusted another with the same gift. Another willing vessel will be able to reach them and usher them to truth and a deeper relationship with the Father. In the end, God is glorified. Besides, it’s not about me–not at all.
If I do my part (see above), and you do your part, and so on, the Kingdom of God will increase. If variety is the spice of life, then the Body of Christ is full of flavor. A good singer appreciates another good singer. Likewise, when I admire the teaching style of another, it just encourages me to sharpen my skills and spend more time gleaning from the scriptures. It doesn’t cause me to sulk, it causes me to celebrate–’cause God’s glory sho’ looks good on them…! -WordsInPrint by Suni
Closing prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us what we need when we need it. This day, we speak life into the lives of those who walk boldly and compassionately in Your appointed offices of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher. Thank You for providing everything the Body needs within the Body. In Jesus’ name we pray, believing the things we ask we already have. Amen.
Edited; First published March 21, 2011 as FB Note.