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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Thoughts from the Past – Meant to Be Different





This post was originally published on my former blog at The Home Maker's Corner.  I first posted it here in September 2011.  I have made some edits and modifications to it at various times.
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I was pleased to find this post among my old blog entries because this subject has been a burden to me lately.  I have been hurt in my heart to see and hear how women in the Lord’s church are being pushed around by ideologies that require us to all be the same  in order to “please God” as “excellent wives.”  The unfortunates who don’t fit in the categories that have been prescribed are being stepped on and left in the dust by those who are allegedly “good, obedient Titus 2 women.”  Too many of the "spiritual" crowd cry “Grace, grace” yet there is no grace for those who don’t fit – those with few or no children, the single ladies who are out of their father’s home, the women who have to work of necessity, the women who don’t have men to stand up for them and protect them, and sometimes even the women who weren’t raised in a godly home (and are thus made to feel deficient in spite of being complete in Christ, Col. 2:10).  Think what variety and pleasure we would miss if every flower were a rose – or a skunk cabbage.  Or what if all fruit were apples, or all grass was crabgrass or pampas?  Our God loves variety, and He loves it in His children as well as His other creations!

We are meant to be different, dear sister in Christ!

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Aug. 30, 2007

Meant to Be Different

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

It's a common problem in the Lord's church for people to be pressured to be or do everything the same. If you want to be "spiritual" or "right with God", you must do or be a certain way. The impression is given that all who "are surrendered" (not a biblical expression) will - go on visitation, teach Sunday School, street preach, participate in faith promise, "go to the altar" regularly, help with the bus ministry, ____________, ________________, _______________ (you fill in the blanks), etc.

Or how about this list of "necessities" to "please God": home school your kids, have lots of children, keep your house in perfect order, bake your own bread, wear only skirts, eat organic, etc.  This problem applies in many areas, you see!

Look at what the above verse says, though, Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us... God intends for us to have different gifts. He doesn't want us all to be the same or do the same work. And, He gives grace according to the work that He intends us to do, not for things He doesn't intend for us to do.

1Corinthians 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

God created the human body with many different functions and abilities. Each is different and special in it's own way, but it is also necessary for those parts to do the job they are created to do. Physically disabled people may train some part of the body to do some other function than normal, such as working with the feet when the hands are missing or breathing with the neck muscles when the breathing muscles are paralyzed, but we marvel at those as a phenomenon and not as "normal" in the sense of what the typical human does. They can survive that way, but we know that was not the original intent for those parts of the body.

How is it then that people in the body of Christ - as it is so correctly called - will try to force others, and themselves, to all do the same job? Why do we imagine that if we can't do what someone else does that we are somehow deficient? This is not God's plan. It is not the mind of Christ.

We are one body but we are supposed to have different gifts. God intentionally gives grace according to the work we are to do. If we try to force our way into some other work, is it so amazing that we don't accomplish the same things that someone else may in that same area? We weren't meant to do that, nor were we "graced for that work", if you will.

Let us be content with the ministries and abilities that God has given and strive to serve Him in those, regardless of what others say or imply. Let us be faithful where God has put us in the body and not feel diminished because we can't do what someone else does. God makes no mistakes. He wants us different for His glory, for His work and according to His wise and perfect plan.

2Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

7 comments:

  1. Very good, Mary, I was just thinking along similar lines this evening. We all don't fit the same mold even though we are where the Lord wants us to serve Him, and we have the personality that God has given us. What if we all had the same personality? How boring this world would be!! God gives different personalities for the jobs He has for each of us. He doesn't call us to do everything exactly the same as someone else. You have already pointed out that He has given us different gifts by His grace.

    Thanks for this thought.
    Mom

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  2. Another hearty amen! This post was very timely, my friend. You see, I have been studying these very passages in Scripture :) This was so perfectly said and I have bookmarked it for future use.

    Thank you ever so much for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

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    1. See what the Lord did? I selected that old post to re-share "at random." It always so awe inspiring and humbling to see His workings through our little seemingly insignificant choices and actions! I'm so glad He used this for you. ((hugs))

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  3. This is something Dan and I have been pondering lately. People will put pressure on us to fit their particular mould. They will try to make you be what they are, not appreciating the beauty of the Body with all its various members, not appreciating the diversity God has given us in this world where every person has different skills that all come together to form an society and world in which we have everything we have a need of. Imagine everyone was a builder and no-one was a merchant. Imagine everyone was a baker and no-one was a caretaker! The world would be a mess!
    Thank you for this timely thought - I'm so thankful the Lord led me to read it today. He knew I needed it.

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    1. Clara, I'm so amazed at how the Lord used this little post. As you might have seen, Stephanie, who commented above you, found it very timely too. In thinking about it, I see how the Lord has illustrated through this the importance of working as a body and how we can help one another in our different ways. What an inspiring thing He did in leading me to re-post this now when two different ladies needed it! He's ways and thoughts are "past finding out"!

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