Breakdown of Romans 12 Part 2:
Happy Easter week my friends. I am feeling especially excited this year because my oldest daughter, Gracie Jo, is really starting to understand the Easter story. We made resurrection eggs, in my MOPS group, that each hold an item that represents a different part of the story. JoJo loves taking them out one-by-one and explaining their meanings. I can’t describe the joy that comes from seeing your child begin forming a love for her savior. It is amazing to watch. Ella ate the crackers that were in the Egg that represented “the body of Christ”. So there is that too… Love her just as much!!
Let’s begin our breakdown by reading the second section of Romans 12.
For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously, if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12: 3-8
I enjoy this section of Romans 12 because I think it is fun get introspective every once and a while. Coming to the realization that I am a unique individual with a “one of a kind” set of gifts given to me by the creator of the universe is a pretty big deal. Don’t worry I didn’t skip that first line that instructs me not to not “think more highly of myself than I ought.” I will make sure it is with sober judgement that I consider the things God has and has not created within me. Just for a second though, I will celebrate the fact that He took the time to make me an individual “part” who fits perfectly into the intricate “body” of believers. He thought me through. I FIT. We all FIT. We belong to each other and with each other we are complete and fully equipped. There is no problem or circumstance we as believers can not come together to solve. GLORY TO GOD.
God has given each one of us a measure of faith to fulfill the plans he has prepared for each of us to do. Since this faith is given to us by God, and is not something we have built up on our own we have no room to boast or become self righteous. Generally, my problem is not having a self righteous or boastful attitude, but I am more worried that I don’t have what it takes to fulfill my purpose. This verse can easily be flipped to show that we can depend on God to give us exactly what we need to complete the tasks he has prepared for us. Just as we are not to think too highly of ourselves, we should not think to low of ourselves because God is our foundation and our strength and he is in control. He will doll out the exact measurement of faith we need, therefore we will never come out short if we put our trust in him.
Just as each part of the body has a different role to keep the body working properly, we each have a different and equally important role in the body of Christ. I am going to list a few examples of what my gifts in case you need a little help in discovering what yours are. I’ll also throw in a few things I have learned through experience are not my gifts, maybe they fit you better than me?
- Forgiving quickly: ever since I was a little girl I have never been able to “hold a mad” as my mom would say. I can’t stand being angry with someone. I am usually the one who says sorry first. This used to drive me crazy, but now I have come to appreciate this gift.
- Compassion- feeling the emotions and needs of others has always come easy for me.
- Connecting: I describe myself as an outgoing introvert. One thing that I love to do is make connections with strangers. I love being a greeter at church. It is so fun to find ways to compliment people as they walk in and see a smile light up their face.
- Serving: I am a helper and a caregiver. If there is something I can do to pitch in I am on it. God has given me a strong desire to help children in need and young mothers.
Here are a few things that I have found out are not my gifts:
- speaking in tongues- there was a time I was led to believe that if you do not receive the gift of tongues you were not fully saved. I prayed and prayed that Holy Spirit would manifest in me through speaking in tongues so I would know I had the spirit. It never happened. I now know the important truth that the Spirit of God is present in me even if it doesn’t materialize in an outward form.
- public speaking- not my strong suit. sweaty palms, cracky voice, no memorization skills, black hole….just not my thing.
- hospitality- I know some women who really shine at this. I am more of a “let’s meet at Texas Roadhouse so we don’t have to do dishes”, or a “I’ll grab a fruit tray from the store instead of making a quiche, kind of girl.”
I think it is also important to realize that God will mature us as we grow in Him and what may not be a gift when we are baby Christians can become a gift later on. I love the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” God has given us all different gifts and the different measures of faith to be able to use each gift in unique ways. I would love if my readers would message me with what gifts they have been given and the ways they are using them.
I hope you have a blessed Easter as you celebrate the sacrifice Christ made for you and for me. He is risen, the war has been won!