I have to admit, I kind of like fairy tales. Now that I have a granddaughter, I have an excuse to get them out again. One of my favorites is Cinderella. I think it’s because she’s the easiest one to identify with. She wasn’t born a princess like the others, instead she was a servant. She was mistreated, maybe even abused. Those who loved her were long gone. But that didn’t keep her from remaining humble. She seemed to always display the fruits of the Spirit and even in the midst of her difficult life she continued to dream. We all know how the story ends. Her fairy Godmother comes to her rescue, she finds her prince, and lives happily ever after. Oh and let’s not forget about the shoe….
So I was thinking about this as I was reading in Romans and when I got to chapter 12 I read it with a different perspective. Basically…it’s a tall order on how to live and love. It challenges us to place our everyday, ordinary lives before God, consider what he wants from us, and then do whatever that is with the utmost humility. It almost seems impossible! Then again, maybe not. I mean, look at Cinderella! She was able to do it!
But in all seriousness, I began to ask myself…Do I live each day, as a living sacrifice, humbly serving, loving all people, even those who hate me or use me? Well certainly not every day! Truthfully, I find myself feeling overwhelmed at the thought. There seems to be countless ways and opportunities for me to get involved and serve. Some of them are easier for me to do than others and there’s a reason for that!
Romans 12:6-8 says,“ We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully”
Over the years I’ve seriously tried out most of these and more. I’ve had the opportunity to teach, to lead, to encourage, to create, to sing, to be hospitable and so on. Some of them I was able to excel at, and others…not so much. I know now it was because I’m simply not gifted in every area. I believe that we can be good at more than one of these at a time. But God is not asking us to do all of them! In fact the passage before this talks about how we are all parts of one body. God wants us to use the gift He’s given us with excellence. We also need to consider that if we’re trying to serve in an area that is not our gifting, we could be hindering someone else from being able to serve within theirs. The point is….We need to not wear someone else’s shoes!
He has given each and every one of us a different situation, different talents, gifts, families, and more. How could we possibly expect to do things exactly like the next person? We aren’t all perfect like Cinderella, and we need to stop comparing ourselves and our lives to one another. Believe me when I say I have more than a few quirks. I tend to procrastinate, it takes me forever to return a call or text, I seriously can’t multitask, and I have a hard time saying no to people. Oh and don’t get me started on all the things I do that irritate my kids. I’ll spare you that list for now!
But even though I’m far from perfect, God made me in his image and He loves me! He also made me good at a few things! We simply need to discover what it is that we do well and embrace it, cultivate it, and use it to bring glory to God! There are many people who are multi-talented and seem to have it all together (at least on facebook) and it’s all too easy to compare our lives and accomplishments to theirs. But we have to remind ourselves that we can’t see the whole picture. Most likely that person is stretched too thin and is possibly ready to snap. I want to remind you that we’re really all a hot mess needing our Savior to help keep us real and balanced.
So try to get creative with your gift. For example, if someone is sick or hurting, find a way to use it to help them. If you are an encourager, then send them a card with a positive note. If you are a giver, then see if there is a need you can meet. If your gift is faith, then go pray with them. If it’s to serve then go clean their house or make them a meal.
Get it!? We can’t all wear the same shoes, so find the pair that fits you and wear those with excellence. Pray and ask God to show you what it is that He’s asking of you and then do it with a great attitude! Oh…and go read Romans 12.