Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I'm trying to understand or at least accept the uniquenesses of how we respond to God's Spirit at work in us.
I know each of us is different.
Unique personalities
Varied abilities
Even different theologies

Paul reminds us that we are a body--different parts, different purposes, but needing to work together.
Not fighting for prominence
Not trying to make others the same as me
Not feeling lesser because my uniqueness seems less valuable, visible, or profound
Instead, rejoicing in my particular skills.

A hand can grasp things--pick them up, throw them, do intricate work, get into strange places--but not see any of it.
Can't work on its own.
Can't always tell the identity of what is being picked up, how fragile it might be, or where it might be hiding.

The eye is really good at perceiving things.
Determining identities
Enjoying beauty
But can't create or manipulate by itself.

That all makes good sense, but requires one more bit of insight.
The brain (the 'head') is Christ. He coordinates, calls the shots. He aims the eye in the right direction, takes the signals, and then tells the hand how to respond.

So, it's OK that I don't respond the same way as my brother, don't do the same action as my sister.
The hand doesn't require the same programming as the eye. So, when a friend feels it's completely appropriate to spend a week at the revival in Lakeland, and I don't, it's all good.
It's good for her, and it's good for me.
If she is called to go, and doesn't, she is missing something important. If I am led to follow my heart in a different direction, but go to Lakeland instead, I'm going to miss something important as well.

Probably the important thing for me to learn is to let God do the persuading.
Not to feel guilty about having a different understanding.
not to use guilt to try to persuade.
God is big enough to correct my mis-conceptions, to re-orient my focus, to make mid-course adjustments.
And to do the same for the brother I might want to 'fix'.

Lord, protect us from guilt trips--both arranging them for others, or going on them ourselves.

Unity is a matter of attitude, not conformity.
Rejoicing in being able to contribute something unique in the work of the whole, not being a clone, an exact replica of every other member of the team.

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