by Charles R. Swindoll
1 Corinthians 12—slowly and aloud!
Have you ever noticed how uniquely adapted each animal is to its environment and its way of life? On land, a duck waddles along ungainly on its webbed feet. In the water, it glides along smooth as glass. The rabbit runs with ease and great bursts of speed, but I've never seen one swimming laps. The squirrel climbs anything in sight but cannot fly (unless you count great airborne leaps from limb to limb), while the eagle soars to mountaintops.
What's true of creatures in the forest is true of Christians in the family. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. He planned that there be differences, unique capabilities, variations in the Body. So concerned was He that we realize this, He spelled it out several times in His Word. I charge you to take the time to read 1 Corinthians 12 slowly and aloud. Those thirty-one verses tell us about His desires and designs—which are more attractive than any thirty-one flavors!
The subject is commonly called "spiritual gifts," and it is as helpful as any truth the believer can ever know. In a nutshell, here's the scoop.
God has placed you in His family and given you a certain mixture that makes you unique. No mixture is insignificant! That mix pleases Him completely. Nobody else is exactly like you. That should bring you pleasure, too.
When you operate in your realm of capabilities, you will excel and the whole Body will benefit . . . and you will experience incredible satisfaction. When others operate in their realm, then balance, unity, and health automatically occur in the Body. It's amazing!
But when you compare . . . or force . . . or entertain expectations that reach beyond your or others' God-given capabilities, then you can expect frustration, discouragement, mediocrity, and, in the long run, defeat.
If God made you a duck saint—you're a duck, friend. Swim like mad but don't get bent out of shape because you wobble when you run. Furthermore, if you're an eagle saint, stop expecting squirrel saints to soar . . . or rabbit saints to build the same kind of nests you do.
Accept your spiritual species. Cultivate your capabilities. Stop comparing. Enjoy being you!
No one else is exactly like you. Cultivate your capabilities.
Refuse to compare or control.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.