Pride or a piece
March 11, 2022, 9:11 AM

"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 faith God has distributed to each of you. For 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, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 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; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 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 12:3-8

I have always been a big fan of Romans 12. Reading it helps remind me that I'm just a little itsy-bitsy piece of the body of Christ that is being sewn together in Jesus to bring glory to our Father in Heaven. Instead of worrying about another person's gifts, it challenges me to pour my energy into how I steward the talents God graciously gives me. Meditating on this piece of Scripture helps to wash away my pride and ego. 

I spent most of life striving to be the best at whatever I was doing to prove that I was better than everyone else at it. I'm sure, at times, you've probably felt the same way, or maybe you still do. There's a sense of peace that comes from knowing you are better, brighter, or farther along than the person sitting next to you. Except it is not peace at all, its pride hidden in disguise. 

The grip of pride gets to work as soon as we notice that we are no longer the best in the room, causing our brains to respond in two distinct ways. It either decides to give up and move on to something else rather than settling for second place, or it chooses to make up little squirmy lies about others to mask our insecurities. Both courses of action are stressful ways to live and never lead to freedom and peace. It neither encourages community because one can't connect with someone they're competing against. 

That's why I think Romans 12 is refreshing, as it calls us out and reminds us of who we are and how we are to live. If the Apostle Paul lived in today's world, I picture him posting or texting these words, "The Holy Spirit told me to tell y'all that you're acting a little cocky. So chill because you are all God's kids. We all sit at His table, and all have a part to play. Someone will set out the plates, another the napkins, another the silverware, and another the glasses. So don't worry about how the plates look when God asks you to make sure the fork is on the right side of the plate. And don't just do your part, but do it generously, diligently, and cheerfully." 

When I think about it like that, I think about how thankful that I am just an itsy-bitsy piece of the body of Christ, and everything doesn't rest on my shoulders. Having a small part to play is refreshing; it doesn't mean my piece doesn't matter. Instead, it takes the pressure off me and frees me from the vicious cycle of the comparison game. Thinking this way elevates our contribution more than we realize because it is part of something much bigger than ourselves. 

When we begin to live confidently in the gifts God has graciously given us, we begin to use them generously, diligently, and cheerfully. In what ways are you comparing your gifts and talents to others? Is there a place where you haven't stepped into your gifting out of fear of failure? Are you using your gifts generously, diligently, and cheerfully? If not, what step can you take to start?

Prayer: Father God, thank you for the gifts You graciously give us. I pray we would confidently step into the spaces You call us to and use our gifts generously, diligently, and cheerfully. Give us the courage to listen to Your voice while quieting that of pride. Teach us and lead us in Your Spirit while encouraging our brothers and sisters to do the same. Let Your Word rest on our hearts and let us remember that we play a part in what You are doing here and now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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