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Humility and different gifts in the body of Christ

By Scriptures In Use

I am privileged to meet many humble indigenous men and women of peace from communities all over the world. They follow our Lord Jesus Christ, seeking to reflect His image in everything they do. They are “not easily offended” although many of them have gone through terrible persecution, abuse, shame and other unspeakable things that humans unfortunately do to each other. The Lord has given them many gifts and talents; one of those gifts being the gift of language (many speaking multiple languages). These humble men and women of peace forgive those who harm them, and even humbly share their faith with those who hated and persecuted them. It’s a story that is repeated again and again for true “followers of Jesus”.

The Lord Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. Jesus did not value his importance, honor or authoritative position as creator of all, but freely gave Himself up in every situation He encountered in order that God’s will would be carried out on earth as it is in heaven. The Holy Scriptures remind us of this in Philippians 2: 3-8 (NLT):

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
     he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

God desires that we be among those who have a humble mindset and a desire to honor others above themselves. He seeks those who want to do His will, cherish His Word and follow His ways, and those who want to be humble and lowly of heart. The apostle Paul also reminds us of this in Romans 12: 3 (NLT) when he writes:

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

One Body, Many Parts

Thinking soberly of oneself is a good thing. I try to remind myself daily to drink a “glass of sober,” look around me, and see those I can choose to lift up and honor, recognizing the many gifts they have been given by our loving creator. In 1 Corinthians 12, the Lord compares all the different giftings He bestowed to us with the different parts of the physical human body. The body of Christ is truly made of many different parts as clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 12: 18-25 (NLT):

“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.”

I am honored to be around many humble servants from faith communities around the world and honoring them as we pursue, seek, trust and obey our Lord. Let’s keep reminding ourselves to “drink a glass of sober today” and to “honor our Lord and to think more highly of those around us”.

 

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