“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
How beautiful each person really is! Think about it- people are so diverse! From race, to culture, to physical features, to personalities, to emotions- our God has an endless amount of creativity. Who else has created something that breathes? Reproduces? Creates? No one but the Lord.
And each person has been given a gift- for a specific purpose! The Bible says that we each have a certain “manifestation of the Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:7).
1. Why is man so prone to wonder from this manifestation? What has enticed him so fiercely that he can altogether forget what he dreamed of growing up to be?
2. Why are Christians so threatened by the talents and abilities of others?
Every man has a dream, a hobby, or a passion; yet for some reason the world has convinced us that we should compartmentalize what makes us diverse. So passions become weekend hobbies, and we get bored of a “Christianity” that exists on Sundays and disappears once the work week begins again. Is Christ alive in you every day of the week?
Perhaps the Lord gave us our dreams so that we might have the courage to follow them and give Him glory joyfully.
Is it money that has stolen your passion? Or having that car? Or that house? That life? What sacrifices are we making that are causing us to become the people we never intended to be?
I believe that each one of our “manifestation[s] of the spirit” are deliberately assigned by God, and he has given us things that make us come alive for a purpose. It is quite a task for me to perform certain ministries, while others come a lot easier. This is the beautiful mosaic that the church should embody, and is a perfect segway into point #2.
When we don’t recognize the intrinsic beauty that our brothers and sisters (both believers and nonbelievers) posses, we make Christianity a to-do list, where everyone looks the same. Because of this, people get bored of the “Christian” tasks that stress them out week after week... so they eventually burn out. Which is understandable, because no one was built to live in perpetual failure, or should be forced to smother what they are naturally good at.
Matt Chandler spoke of the “Secular and Sacred Divide,” an invisible line that has been popularized in Christian culture, where God and Jesus are found in Church, and other things like business ethics, art, music, etc. become superfluous to faith and are thereby classified as “secular.”
This is a wrong way of thinking. Everything is God’s. So if you are good at sports, use that to praise the Lord. And if you are good at speaking, use that to praise the Lord. The truth is that there are right ways to do things and that there are wrong ways to do things.
And all truth is our truth because we are of Christ and Christ is of God.
So what if the church was a breeding ground for creativity? What if people saw God in the art displayed (or created) in church? What if business ethics that pointed people to Jesus lead successful businessmen to the church? Wouldn’t it only further the glory of God for us to marvel at his creativity in our brothers and sisters?
Maybe the body would function as a more cohesive unit if we would learn to appreciate how our diversity is a shadow of Christ (and necessary to our survival). Maybe then we could love more appropriately, and serve more effectively.
If we really are the “body” of Christ, and I am one organ, and you are another, then we really need each other. And even if I am not directly connected to you, but you were to die, I (and the whole body) would suffer.
So I need you. And you need me. Hallelujah.