Tuesday, September 4, 2012
"But, if We Are the Body, Why Aren't His Arms Reaching . . ."
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage on another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Pastor Wallace tells the story of a man, Jay, who attended one of his previous churches. For his entire life, all Jay has ever heard from his parents and other family members is he's not good enough. Will never amount to much of anything. So, why try?
And, sadly, Jay believes it. Even though he has a good job and a family of his own, he doesn't see himself as worthy. Especially, when it comes to serving in the church.
After a sermon Pastor Wallace gives about being the Body of Christ, and urging each person to find his or her gifts and use them in service to the Kingdom, Jay nervously approaches him.
"Preacher, that was a good talk you gave us today, but I don't reckon I'm a person God can use."
"Nonsense, Jay," Wallace assures him. "God can use everyone. You are a part of the Body as much as anyone else here."
"Well, sir, if I belong to the Body like you say, I must be the little finger on the hand. It ain't good for much, and neither am I."
"Hold on a minute! That little finger is more important than you think. Had a buddy when I was a teenager who had his pinky and ring finger chopped off in an accident. Before that happened, he used to be a fantastic basketball player. Guess what?"
"Without that pinky, he couldn't make lay-ups anymore. The ball would just roll out of his hand. Don't you think those pro-basketball folks pulling down the big bucks see great value in their little fingers?"
"Why, Preacher," Jay says, "I never looked at it that way. So, you're sayin' as small as my gift is, it matters?"
"Yes, sir, that's it exactly!"
"But I don't know what my gift is."
"Go home and pray about it, Jay. God will give you the answer."
The following Sunday, Jay comes up to Wallace after the service, a broad smile on his face.
"I done my prayin' this week, Preacher, and I got an idea. We ain't got no one regular to keep up the church grounds. And, it ain't attractive when you drive up and the outside looks a mess. Makes folks wonder what's on the inside. So, if it's alright with you, I'll tend the grounds here every week."
And, true to his word, Jay maintains the outside of the church property for 25 years.
That's a pretty powerful pinky . . .
How are you affirming and building up others in the Body of Christ?
Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for the many and varied gifts You have given us. Help us to recognize ours and encourage the talents in others so that, together, we may serve as Christ's Body here on earth. Amen.