You would think after sixty-two years I would know how much syrup to put on pancakes. Yet, despite the decades of practice, after the last bite leaves the plate, there will be a puddle of syrup left. The surplus amount varies, but it’s always there. Even on the few occasions I have wiped the syrup dry before I finished the last pancake, I’ve added what I thought would be just enough to finish, and ended up with the usual extra.
My wife, Sharon, though, has syrup figured out. She applies just enough so that when she finishes a plate, you have to look closely to see a drop here and there. It’s even difficult to know if she had pancakes. (When she reads this, it will be the first she’s known of my admiration of her syrup expertise. I’ve hesitated to tell her because she’s already aware of a long list of weird things I notice.)
I don’t think there’s a syrup gene buried in Sharon’s DNA that isn’t present in mine, but we are definitely unequal in our syrup measuring abilities. However, having differing abilities in some ways is a good thing.
In 1st Corinthians, chapter twelve, the Apostle Paul wrote about being different. He taught that God made us different for God’s own purposes. Just as the human body needs various parts with distinct functions to make it effective as a whole, the church, the Body of Christ, needs various people with different abilities (Paul called them spiritual gifts) to be effective as a whole.
So, if we find ourselves thinking “I wish I could do “that” (whatever “that” may be)like Brother or Sister whatstheirname,” or, a parallel thought, “I’ll never be as good as them at “that” so I may as well not try,” it’s time to stop and think and pray a bit. If we examine our motivation for thinking about “that”, we may find it’s from a selfish view and isn’t what the Lord would have us do. But, if the thought is from the Spirit, those statements don’t matter. With God’s help, we may be able to do “that” as well as Brother or Sister whatstheirname, or we may not. But, if we follow Him, He will give us the abilities we need to fulfill His purpose and THAT is what matters.
“All these (spiritual gifts) are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.” 1st Corinthians 12:11