There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12: 4 - 6
I watched my daughter run to the field to assess the young player who’d been knocked down during the game. She’s a certified medical assistant who works overtime as a medic at youth sporting events. She carefully assesses the injuries, asking questions, examining the patient, getting right into the middle of the “scene”. If she can treat the patient on-site she will, or she may do minor treatment and advise the parent to take the child to the emergency room for further evaluation or treatment or if necessary she’ll call for an ambulance to transport the child immediately to the hospital. When the situation is over, she returns to her post, relaxed but alert, watching the area ready to respond immediately to the next call.
I envy her ability to do that, not the medical part, but the part where she doesn’t hesitate but goes immediately to the scene, thinking only of the injured person. Me, I’m the sideline person, the one who’ll call 911 or bring you more bandages. I’ve been trained in basic first aid and CPR but I don’t feel confident in my ability to remember what to do, I don’t want to make a mistake – I “think” first before I act. Medics, policeman, firemen, they all act, they think on the run, on their feet, they don’t hesitate to get right in the middle of any critical situation.
What about you, do you envy another person’s skills and talents? When a group prays together do you hesitate because you’re not eloquent enough, you can’t recall any Scripture and the only words you can think of to pray are, “God please help this person.” Or when you hear of someone who goes straight to the heart of a person and leads a total stranger to Christ, do you envy that ability because for you the very thought of going up to a complete stranger and evangelizing makes you break out into a cold sweat?
Recently, I’ve been pondering the differences in all of us within the church--our various strengths and our weaknesses. I think about how we’re all part of an army. And aren’t there all different kinds of soldiers? My first image is that of a foot solder, an infantryman marching along with a rifle in his or her hands.
On the Internet, in an article, “Description of Army Officer Duties”, by Simon Fuller (an eHOW contributor) I read that there are many different types of officers. There are combat specialty officers, artillery officers, and infantry officers to name a few. Commissioned and non-commissioned. IT specialists, helicopter pilots, medics, administrative assistants, lawyers, doctors, civilian specialists in science. The list goes on and on,. The medical core team alone has 40 different specialties. As a civilian I just don’t think about all the different jobs it takes to run an army.
Then again, I work for a large bank and I remember when I was considering going to work for the bank I thought what could I do, how many different types of jobs are there in a bank anyway? I was amazed to find out that there were hundreds and hundreds of job titles and responsibilities within the bank mail delivery, IT specialist, fraud prevention, marketing, communications, etc., etc. Again, many types of skills are needed to successfully run a large corporation.
In 1 Corinthians 12, we read that there are all kinds of spiritual gifts, different kinds of service and different kinds of working, but in all there is only one God at work in all of us and that the gifts are given for the common good. The body can’t function without all of its parts.
Like a farmer, sometimes we prepare the soil for the seed, sometimes we plant the seed, sometimes we nurture it as it grows and sometimes we get to harvest it. As we journey through life, our roles and responsibilities often change; circumstances move us in different directions. Each job that we do, each action that we take, when we do it with Christ as the focus it will be important, so whether you can only give a simple hug, or pray “God, please heal this person”, only dial 911 or haul up some more band aids, don’t discount your role in the body of Christ. Keep learning, keep moving, keep loving, you and the role you play are important.
JoAnn, mother of two married daughters, lives in Concord, NC where she works for a bank, is active in her church, does volunteer work, and enjoys her grandson. This year she is going on her first mission trip.