Saturday, Oct. 22                              

Most, if not all, human beings, are dichotomous.  We want to be recognized as special in some particular area, but we also want to be just like everyone else, just another accepted member of our peer group.  We want to stand out but we don’t want to stand out.  Into this little enigmatic equation is the fact that God has made each one of us unique.  We are meant to be different than anyone else in our Christian fellowship.  God expects us to use our unique gifts to build up one another and to glorify God in the process.   If we exercise our gifts, it should be noticed and appreciated.  The dichotomy, however, opens the door to some potential problems.  1. It could lead to pride—as though it’s not a gift.  2. Out of a skewed view of humility, it could cause us to hide our gifts, i.e., not use them.  3. We could envy someone else’s gifts that seem to be better than our own.  My daughter, Ann, when in high school, was down on herself because she was not an outstanding athlete, nor did she feel especially gifted in music or drama.  She was, however, one of the sharpest scholars, and always ready and capable of helping other students.  She was a friend to everyone, and three really special friends.   She lived an exemplary life, was a good role model, and participated in every part of school life.  OK, those gifts were not necessarily spiritual gifts, but it makes the same point.  We want to stand out and we want to fit into our peer group.  The sin nature inevitably wants to minimize the positive and maximize the negative.  It’s always who we focus on, and what our priorities are.  I want to illustrate this with a couple examples in the next two days.

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