“Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave YOU.” (Colossians 4:17 NLT)
Have you ever noticed that when we get excited about something, we want everyone else to be excited about it too? I find that I not only want or desire others to be excited about the same things, but I go further and assume that that they will be just as impacted as I was. When that doesn’t happen, I have a tendency to look around and say, “what’s going on here? Did they just hear what I heard, or see what I saw?”.
If the person or persons doesn’t respond in a given way, I am often tempted to evaluate and make judgements about the person or myself. I want to find out whether they missed the point, or did I make too much of the issue. Either way evaluation can be very dangerous.
Evaluation begins from the premise that you are standing on a firm foundation of “rightness”. Surely, my thoughts about this situation are correct. It is so important to remember that our thoughts are not His thoughts, and our ways are not His ways. His purpose is working deeper in us then we can imagine.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NLT)
When we evaluate people based on our emotions, we may completely miss what God is doing in us and them. We must be careful about make comparisons and believing that one part of the body is more valuable than another. In Colossians 4:17, Paul says, “be sure to carry out the ministry that God gave you.” Ephesians 4:1 says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
Be careful not to cast off the work of the master architect. He is the God of intelligent design. Who we are, how we think and process things is something that only God can fully understand. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
The Body of Christ, much like the human body is a very complex mystery. The mystery of how all of the systems work are known only by our creative God. It makes no sense therefore to evaluate or compare ourselves to one another.
“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Corinthians 12:17, 18 NIV)
There is a better way to interact with each other. In fact, 1Cor. 12:30b says,” I will show you a more excellent way”. This is a set up for the next chapter which is all about love. Because, love never fails.
When you are tempted to evaluate, or make swift judgements, pause and ask God to show the beauty of his handiwork in the other person. Choose a heart of gratitude for a person who has different gifts, and who may be on a different part of the journey then you are on.
The world would be missing much beauty and creativity if everyone was just like me.
Christine James is a wife, mother and pastor at CareView Community Church. This is her first blog. She is glad you came.