Let’s make room for one another
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12)
Our family rescues animals that are in need of a home. We have limits though. At this time, we have 5 cats and 1 dog. One of our dogs just passed away after living with us for 17 years. His name was Charlie and he was 129 years old, in dog years, that is. Our newest member has only been with us for about 6 months. His name is Dandy-sox (long story about the name, just go with it). When we first brought him home, we tried to find out if he belonged to someone else and was just lost. We took his picture, put it on lost cat websites. Contacted our local animal shelters, we hung up signs within a 5-mile radius where he was found. Nothing, no nibbles or bites on owning Dandy. So he is ours now. We’ve all heard it said, “You can’t choose your family!” True, True! And our other cats were determined to let Dandy know that he was not welcome here, in their territory. It was hard to watch this happen. We would intervene often on Dandy’s behalf, but ultimately, our cats were just going to have to accept that this big guy was a keeper. We were not going get rid of Dandy, just because our other cats had a problem with him. Finally, after 6 months, we are seeing the cats begin to show kindness toward him. But Dandy is understandably defensive, and yet pensive at the same time. O how our actions and attitudes can come back to bite us.
Now I know we are talking about animals here, but the same kind of thing happens in our own families, and in our Spiritual Family as well. Territorialism can be an issue at times in The Body of Christ, as new people come in. We are used to doing things a certain way, being led by certain people, etc. It’s hard to admit this, but I have been on both ends of this decidedly difficult occurrence in The Church. God guided me gently with the following passage.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12)
Notice that is says that God distributes His gifts to each one individually JUST AS HE WILLS. We have nothing to do with what spiritual gift we are given, and God leads us to the Church where He desires to use that gift. Like a puzzle piece that fits in just right. We can rest assured that God cares for us in whatever family/Body of Christ He places us in. But we are called to welcome others who come to our churches. And we may have to adjust to make room for their gifts. This is true in the Body of Christ as well as the world at large. God places us in the Body of Christ, just as He chooses. He gives us the gifts that He wants us to have, in order to grow, mature and bless others with His Blessings. So let’s make room for one another. We need each other and The World will see Jesus as we love one another.