"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:4-7
I love reading passages like this one in the Bible, because it's such a good reminder to me that each one of us is unique and different because God made us that way. Sometimes it's really easy to look at someone and wish we had their talents or abilities, without realizing that we already have abilities that could be put to use. In particular, I love the list of giftings in these verses, because it puts prophesying and teaching on the same playing field as serving and giving. It shows that each and every task is important, and God gives people different abilities so that all the tasks can be seen to.
Sure, one may look at the Sunday School teachers or the Worship Leader and wish they had their abilities, but let's say the drummer on the worship team really wished they could lead worship. Maybe they could, but then there would be no drummer, and a worship team just isn't a worship team without a drummer. ;) The person who takes out the garbage and cleans the bathrooms may look at the Audio-Visual Crew and think that working there would be more glamorous. But then the garbage would be overflowing, the bathrooms would need cleaning, and no one wants to attend a church that is filthy.
Each piece of the puzzle is unique and wonderful- and no two pieces are alike. Oh sure, most people actually do have more than one gifting- some just tend be stronger than others, and different gifts may be needed at different times. For me personally, in the past I've had to use my gifting for organization to help sort through a rather large and daunting mess to make life easier for another person. In my current season though, that organization isn't really needed, so instead my gift of service is being put to great use to keep our church neat, clean, and welcoming to guests.
Something else I love about these verses? It mentions giving as a gift. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day for people. A single mom who really wants to help out, but can't because she has to carefully balance work and kids can help out by picking up extra school supplies for the Sunday School classes. She can bring a plate of cookies to an event, and while she can't stick around and help clean up- giving those cookies to the cause is just as important as planning or cleaning up. Sometimes the only thing we can do to help out for a season is to grab our checkbook and fill in the blank spaces to help cover a need. Giving is a very important gifting and we all need to utilize it more, I think.
The point is, no matter what our gift is, we need to use it. And we also need to recognize that sometimes God puts us in a place to use a gifting that may not be our best one- but even then, we need to use it to the best of our abilities to glorify Him. Sometimes that's easier said than done, I know. But just because I'm in a time of doing something a little less glamorous, doesn't mean that I am any less important than someone who does do something really cool. Each and every task within the church is important- and that makes each and every person important as well. No one is beneath another- we are all called to do our very best with whatever abilities we have at the moment. It's time that we stop comparing ourselves to one another and just do it. Just do what God has called us to do, and do it with all our heart. That's the way God made us to be.