Are You Hands or Feet?

Some people have creativity oozing out of them. You ask them to create or decorate something with a theme, give them no other direction, and they can whip up a marvelous creation. I have some friends who just exhibited such talents at my church’s annual ladies Christmas dinner. There are approximately 25 dinner tables with volunteer hostesses for each one. Each hostess decorates their table with 6-8 place settings, in the Christmas theme, with china and greenery and ribbon and candles and sometimes things you can’t even imagine. Out of 25 tables, there were some super simple, yet impeccably elegant tables, there were elaborately detailed and exquisitely ornate tables, there were cleverly whimsical tables, and every sort of table décor in-between! Interestingly, there were no two tables even remotely the same.

Watching all of the decorating for this event reminds me that God gives each of us talent for different things. I decorated a table, and it didn’t turn out half bad, if I say so myself; but the process of deciding what to do and how to do it is painful for me. It does not come naturally at all. However, I so enjoy the fellowship and the fun of it that I do a table every year. I am thankful for, and in awe of, those who effortlessly pull together an amazing display. This ease vs. struggle of the gift of creativity and making things beautiful reminds me of I Corinthians 12 when the apostle Paul describes the broad differential in people’s talents and abilities. He zeros in on the fact that it is the Lord who distributes each of these gifts, and then specifies that not everyone’s are the same.

God knows us intimately and gives unique talents and abilities to each of us. In my opinion, Paul uses a little humor to illustrate, yet to bring home the point that God created each of us in such a way that we are all important and valuable. Paul likens we humans to various parts of a body, just as God’s church is referred to in scripture as the “Body of Christ”. Paul says that whether we play a small part, a large part, or a completely unseen part, we are all vital to the functioning of the whole of God’s Kingdom. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…” (vvs. 12-13).  He then expresses both a tongue-in-cheek and hard-hitting message:

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. (vvs. 15-23).

When it comes to decorating, I am not the gifted hands of the body, but just because I feel like I decorate with my feet, doesn’t mean that I don’t bring value. I can love well and share my personal treasure chest of God’s love for me with others in ways comfortable for me. For example, I can reach out and invite people to come enjoy the fruit of others’ talents on display. When people use the gifts that they do have to honor God and love others, He is pleased and people are blessed.

The event wouldn’t have happened, however, without those that we never saw. The ones who opened and closed the building, set up and took down the tables and chairs, operated the sound system, placed and took out the trashcans, cleaned the bathrooms, etc.

Never count yourself as less than. “God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there would be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other…you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (vvs. 24-25)

How blessed are we to be part of HIS BODY! We are part of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Wow! No matter what gifts He has bestowed on us, the fact we are part of Him makes us MORE than special. ALL of us!

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