Apostle Paul used to be one of my least favorite writers in the Bible. I think I was kinda using him as a scapegoat. I could just kind of pawn all of the stuff that I didn’t like about the Bible off on him. That wasn’t very fair of me. Paul didn’t have it all that well. He was kinda being attacked wherever he went, and he had multiple parties trying to kill him. He was imprisoned a seemingly infinite number of times, and he lived most of his life alone with very few companions. But through all of that, the man is still one of the most loving and gracious writers that has ever lived.
I am finally starting to build an appreciation for this incredible man. It’s through no action of my own. A lot of people have been graciously walking me through it. But I was with a group the other day and we were talking about this passage Paul wrote, Romans 12:3-21. I don’t know if you are religious or whatever or how you feel about Jesus or whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Romans 12:3-21 is still just amazingly good. It would take me like centuries to talk about the whole thing, but I do want to talk about 3-8. So that’s what we are going to do.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is one of the most comforting passages I have ever read. Paul is telling us that we don’t have to do everything. We just have to do the stuff we are good at doing and then do it really well. I often get it into my head that I need to do everything. When I see people doing things that I can’t do and doing them really well, I get jealous. For instance, I want to be a performer sometimes. I fantasize about dancing, playing music, or acting in front of thousands of people. I really really really want to be Justin Timberlake.
The truth is, though, that I’ve not been blessed with the performance gifts. But what I can do is talk about complicated things in a way that a lot of people can understand and jive with. (Although, JT can probably do that as well. At least, he makes people jive.) While that may not be as glamorous as bringing sexy back, Paul says it is just as important.
Paul compares the Church to a human body. None of us is all of the body, but we are all a part of it. Just because the eyes get to see the world doesn’t mean that the little toe is any less important. Do you think the little toe ever gets jealous of the eyes?
What do you bring to the table? Tell me what you think. Would you like to see more posts where I talk about Apostle Paul and Justin Timberlake?