November 24, 2008
The Gift of Family
by Sarah Jennings, Crosswalk.com Family Editor
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12: 4-6
Holidays – how we would love for them to be simple. But they rarely are. My mom and I recently realized, through tearful laughter, that we can identify our holiday get-togethers by the key awkward moment that occurred that year.
Don’t get me wrong – our family overflows with love and fond memories. But it’s a rare family that can gather into one room without bumping into an issue.
One long-term challenge in my family involves comparisons. If you have siblings, you know what I mean. A sister might have been the “favored child” growing up. Or a brother has achieved remarkable career success while you struggle to find your niche. There are as many ways to compare one another as there are people in the world. And, adding to the fun, there’s often one family member who feels a driving need to vocalize the perceived discrepancies among individuals. There may be big family events where you leave wondering, “God, what were you thinking when you threw us all into the same family pot?”
Not only do comparisons hinder our ability to love one another, they are a waste of energy because they are based on surface perceptions which can be inaccurate. In recent years, I’ve come to find freedom from the comparison game by lining up my way of thinking to be more like the opening verse.
Paul’s words to the Romans reveal God’s design for His spiritual family, but these words could apply to our biological families, too. Paul’s words above remind me that while each person is valuable in the eyes of God, no one person can achieve it all – no matter how perfect he or she may appear. Furthermore, each one of us has special gifts, and we depend on each other to fill in the gaps for the areas we lack.
For better or for worse, each member “belongs to all the others.” Pondering God’s gifts revealed in my family members helps me focus on the true heart of Thanksgiving – As a day set aside for gratitude
Intersecting Faith & Life: What are your gifts? This Thanksgiving, see if you can identify the various gifts each member of your family possesses, especially for that one family member you find difficult to love.
Further ReadingMark 9:33-35
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
Of Comparisons and Rulers, by Awnali Mills
Comparison or Contentment? Find Joy in Your Marriage, by Whitney Hopler