Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Are a Perfect Measure

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness (Romans 12:3-8, NRSV).

I have read so many posts this week on finding your unique passion in ministry. Mostly they are about being your unique self in the blog world, at Tara’s View of the World, or Chatting at the Sky. There are some great things to think about when defining ministry.

I read this verse this morning and thought about it in light of our various talents in the community of non-virtual, Christian women.

I have strived to be many things in my life. I can be a great modeler. I can take on qualities of other people. So, if I see something spectacular, I want to be that…spectacular. What does that mean if there is more than one modeler in our churches? Not good, ladies, not good. From experience, we all fall.

We have a body of women right around us that look, smell, and talk differently. God tells me that each of our measures is equal in value when our purpose is lived out. That is right, when the purpose is lived out.

Let’s test the way that you use your measure. Let’s say that we are a quarter cup of sugar perfectly poured into a measuring cup, which is exactly what the recipe calls for. You can leave it in the cup, making the cake unsweet. We, as women, know that’s a bust, right? Or, we can pour our perfect quarter cup into the mix, with the other perfectly measured ingredients…result, perfect girl’s night.

The other approach would be tasting other confectionary goodies, and desiring to pour more sugar into the cake than it calls for, or less. Either leaves you with a less than perfect cake. What about those who are saving part of their sugar for another cake? This analogy could get confusing, but you get the idea.

I know a woman who can bring you a meal and clean your house in no time. She will talk to you and give wisdom. She is simply a pleasure. She told me the other day that sometimes she just feels like a housewife. What? My domestically perfect little friend? Honestly, I felt so great that someone like her can feel, well, like me…one of many. But when you put us together…we can do a whole event.

What I sometimes fail to see is that my sugar, my measure, is unique but not irreplaceable. Our thought should be for the value of the community cake, not the uniqueness of the measure. If everyone poured in their measure, we would rock! Instead, some do not feel empowered, some do not feel gifted, some do not feel adequate, and some just don’t want to bother. Some need to build relationship in Christ, first.

When we look at ourselves against the body, not spectacular individuals, we start to look more pertinent. We are intended for holistic community, in a framework. When one person is taken out of their context, they are no longer as effective.

I am struggling to evaluate this, too. How much is my exact measure and what do I do with it?

Only in a one-on-one relationship can we even ask those questions of Jesus. He places us in His community, which is where the spectacular can happen.

All of God’s people have dynamo acts to perform for Him. They could be to the children on your block, or children filling an arena. I often feel less than dynamo, but that is when I am told to sit in front of Jesus with sober judgment. I am listening with my heart to hear His direction. That is when I have to ask Him, “Am I using your measure to its potential?” Then I have to be willing to hear the answer.

How are you using your measure? I really want to know. Have you started pouring it?

Father, thank you for our measure. Show us how to use it to its potential, today. Make us stewards of your gifts and your community.

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