But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
(1 Corinthians 12:18)
Relate: I love to write. I love history and theology. I love Istanbul among so many other reasons for the way the city is permeated with both. I get passionate about issues of social justice, especially ending human slavery. I am a sports fan, who likes his NY teams. I like the Yankees and the Nets. For football I follow the Red Bulls and Real Madrid and I have also declared myself a Besiktas fan (neutrality is not allowed here). When I can be bothered to pay attention to fake football, I am a Jets fan but the Rex Ryan years turned me off from the sport. I like to bike. I love worship music but don’t have the talent for playing instruments. I love nature but hate living in the country. I love learning from other cultures but “redneck” is not a culture. These are some of the things that make me tick.
I really don’t like comedies or chic flicks. Reality shows, shopping, and anything to do with fashion make me yawn. Watching fast cars drive in a circle or old men walking around hitting tiny white balls into little holes is not sports. No sports should ever be played on ice. I have no interest in spending time and effort for nothing other than collecting vast sums of money. For me, modern art is people conning other people into spending exorbitant amounts for something any eight year old could create when painting while having a temper tantrum. These are some of the things that I just don’t get.
React: There are people who could almost literally switch those “like” and “dislike” lists. They love their hockey and their pottery barn catalogs, can’t stand the city and invest their millions into their home in West Kentucky. It doesn’t matter, we fit together in one body. God loves them just as much as he loves me. He might even love them more since a little extra grace must be required to do so. His body, his church is made up of all different parts. We all have different passions, talents, and interests and we have them for a reason. He has given them for us to use for His glory.
The problems come when I begin to think everybody in the church should have the same passions as I have. I might sit here thinking that everybody in the church should know the theological differences between Iranaeus, Ignatius, and Athanasius. If I mentioned this out loud, the person in the pew next to me might start thinking, “Are those places Paul visited? The Bible is the only book anyone needs to read.” The guy in front of me is saying, “We need to sing more hymns.” While the lady behind me, “We sing too many old songs.” We have all been given passions and talents for a reason and we need to be using them for the glory of God. We should not be using them to beat each other over the head with them. Our variety, our differences, is what makes the body so beautiful. We need to learn to thrive through our differences while still living in unity.
God, help me not to mistake my passions and Your universal purposes. I know that there are certain things that should be part of every Christian’s DNA. There are other things that are gifts You have given to some. Give me the wisdom to recognize the difference and to be willing to give ground on the latter while holding tightly to the former. Help me to use and foster my gifts, but even more help me to walk in love and unity with Your Body.