‘Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.’ (vv7–8) Proverbs 30:7–9
Look around any church and you will observe great diversity. Whilst everyone seeks God, the range of experience is varied. From the financial wealth of individuals to their encounter with illness, from grief to joy, the church offers a snapshot of individual life experiences everywhere. One reason Paul reminds the church to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15).
The challenge with diversity is that it can provoke comparison. Yet, we are invited to build our confidence in following Jesus, not in comparing ourselves to others. Yes, as the body of Christ we make common cause with other disciples, and we invest our gifts for the benefit of the community.
Such gifts include both skills and experience. The church community holds within it a deep wisdom born of life, wisdom that is a source of encouragement when appropriately shared throughout the community.
Within the community, we remain individuals learning to respond to God as He requires. Scripture does not present God’s followers as a homogeneous bunch. Each is invited to live their own story under God’s direction.
Hence, the way God instructs one person to live their Christian witness is unique to that relationship. Indeed, the learning we gain as individuals is what enriches the whole and ensures the church is accessible to everyone, whatever their background and experience.
RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Exod. 35:30–36:7; Josh. 1:1–11; John 21:15–23; Rom. 12.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Redirect your interest and attention away from comparing yourself to others and ask God how He would like you to live your life serving Him.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I find my greatest fulfilment in knowing that I am living the life You have called me to. Amen.’ (1 Cor. 7:17)
Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr