Posted by: Anne | September 16, 2007

spiritual snowflakes

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV)

God requires different things of each Christian, and he leads each of us according to our unique gifts, talents, and personalities. Just as we all look different on the outside, so we also are unique on the inside. We’re spiritual snowflakes, as a matter of fact — no two are alike.

If you think I’m exaggerating, just strike up a conversation with a fellow believer. As you talk to him or her, you’ll see that there are subtle — and not-so-subtle — differences between how the two of you live the Christian life. And that’s not a bad thing, as long as sin isn’t involved.

I thought about this as I saw how God was directing one of my friends. While I was glad he was open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I also knew that God was not leading me in similar directions. I’m glad about that, since I’m not the same person he is.

When we understand that God’s Spirit leads each of us in different ways, we can sit back, relax, and praise God for how he uses each of his children in ways that make the best use of who they were created to be. We don’t all have to volunteer to coach the little league baseball team or lead Vacation Bible School. All we have to be, as followers of Jesus Christ, is obedient to the voice of God in our own lives. Period.

If you’re like me, you might sometimes feel guilty that you can’t do one thing or another for the kingdom of God. Maybe you feel that you could do so much more for God if you knew how to do those things. But God sees the situation in a different light. He’s only concerned that you use your gifts, whatever they are, in faithful obedience to the Holy Spirit.

We need all kinds of obedient Christians doing all sorts of awesome things for the body of Christ. And only God, from his unique vantage point, can see how all the pieces of the body will fit together.

— Matt Donnelly, for the ChristianityToday.com staff

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