Our Uniqueness - Created in God's Image

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if serving, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
~ Romans 12:3-8 ~
God has made each of us unique and in His image. There is no one else in the entire universe that is identical to you. You may be an identical twin, or have a really close doppleganger, but YOU are unique. God has a special plan for each and every person, if they will allow Him to use them.
 
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;”
Genesis 1:26a

Now, today's passage (Romans 12:3-8) is the second of four devos in Romans 12. I love this chapter, and today's passage has a really neat story for me, which I'll share soon enough.
 
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think;
 
When we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, the real name for that is pride. When we think of others as lower than ourselves and regard them lower, we have pride and haughtiness in our hearts. James 2:1-9 is a wonderful cross-reference to this passage, as well as several others listed below.
My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives?... But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”
James 2:1-4, 9
 
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
James 3:14
 
There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Proverbs 6:16-17
 
So that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."
1 Corinthians 1:31
 
being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents.
Romans 1:29-30
 
Wow. The Bible has so much to say about being prideful and arrogant. According to God's Word, showing partiality is committing a sin and those who show partiality are convicted by the law as transgressors. They who are arrogant or boastful are listed among those who did not acknowledge God and are in the same verse as haters of God, slanderers, inventors of evil, those who are filled with murder and malice. That's tough. Like, really tough. Just that one half of one verse can make us stop in our tracks and reconsider everything. Trying to obey just that for only one week seems almost impossible.
but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
God has given us each a measure of faith. We are advised to have sound judgment and not to look down on others, for we are all made in God's image.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Okay, this one is really a huge verse for me. I have an older sister who is an amazing musician, and several younger sisters. I always felt as though my older sister left a legacy, huge footsteps that I could never fill, and that she would always be better. She was always being praised for playing so well, or being such a fantastic and skilled and talented musician/composer. I felt shadowed by her, and her talent, even though God had given me other talents that I refused to use. At last, I realized that I didn't have to fill those footsteps, or compete with her talents. God gave me other talents: writing, skating, photography. Now, we both use our talents for God. Sometimes we have friendly competition (don't all siblings?!) but we know that we are made in God's image and that He has created each of us for His glory.
In the verse above, it clearly explains that just as the eyes and ears, and mouth and feet do not have the same function (try talking with your eyes, or seeing with your ears!), each of us have been created uniquely. God has given us each talents and gifts that are special just to us. Yes, others may be able to (for example) play the piano, kick a soccer ball, sing, dance, write, paint, but each person has their own way of doing everything because God has made us special. We all have talents that we CAN use for God. There is ALWAYS a way. If you don't see a way for God to use you and your talents, ask Him. I did.
Last year, I really started getting into blogging, photography, writing, art, and dolls. I also enjoyed dancing, and rollerblading... but I had no idea how on earth to use any of that for God. I asked Him to use me, somehow, sometime, and to show me how I could serve Him. He answered my prayers.
This summer, I'm going to use my rollerblading to start a club for kids in the neighborhood. I'll teach them how to skate, and spin, and glide. But, in between skating sessions during the break, I'll give a Bible lesson. Most of the kids who live around us don't know Christ and probably wouldn't come to a Bible club. But this way, I can use my rollerblading to gain their respect so that they'll listen to God's Word. I'm praying over this a LOT. I can't wait for summer to come.
I found another way to use my love for blogging, photography, and dolls through Operation Christmas Child. 100Dolls4100Girls launched last year, and continues through this November. I'm collecting dolls and hygiene items, school supplies, and clothing to send in shoeboxes through Samaritans Purse.
My art and writing I am now using to glorify Him, with verses on some of my artwork (thanks to inspiration from my wonderful art teacher) and well, writing is pretty easy. Just take this for example... :)
We can all use our talents for God. Together, we are the body of Christ, and we should act like it!
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:
We DO have different gifts! I kinda got ahead of myself and typed all of the above before this. Ooops. :) I still have more to say, though!
While we should use our talents for God's glory, we shouldn't gloat or show off, because we're not the ones who have the talent. Yes, we often practice and work hard on them, but God is the one who gives us the gifts and opportunities. Like the moon reflects the sun, we should reflect the Son.
if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if serving, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Sometime in the past couple months, I was able to learn from an amazing Sunday school lesson about this. She explained it so much better than I do, but I'll try. :D
Really, this verse should be read with the one above it, but I wanted to split them up for some reason. Don't ask me why. :)
For example, when we give, we should give freely, with liberality (the quality of giving or spending freely), not withholding any of the blessings which God has blessed us with. We are TRULY blessed. And somehow, whenever we give freely, God keeps supplying more for us to give! Also, we shouldn't proudly boat about how much we give, like the rich people in Mark 12 who showed off how much they were giving (which was small in comparison to their wealth) so that people would praise them.
When we lead something, we shouldn't slack off or delegate important duties and responsibilities that are ours to others. We should lead with diligence, not forsaking our responsibilities.
When we show mercy to someone, we shouldn't do it in a condescending manner such as, "Well, I suppose I'll forgive you. You don't deserve it at all, but because I'm being merciful, I guess I have to forgive you. Fine, I'll forgive you." We should do it cheerfully, like so: "Of course I forgive you! Just as God has forgiven me, I forgive you!"
 
I hope you gleaned a lot from this very long segment. I love writing these. It's part of the best of my day It really is the best part of my day. I would spend all day doing this if I could!
~ Light4theLord
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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