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Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink.  Certainly the body isn’t one part but many.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-14 CEB)

These words from Paul always give me comfort.  I recently read an article online about women and how we often envy one another and become jealous of the success of even our closest friends.  It is so easy to look at other women’s life situations and feel that our life doesn’t measure up to another's sense of style, skills in baking, or ability to craft.  It may seem that everyone else has a more successful career, is a regular at the gym, bears more children, has more quiet time, volunteers for great causes and cares well for her aging parents.  It is often easier to look at other women and compare our own shortcomings to their gifts and strengths rather than to identify and celebrate our own personal gifts and strengths. 

Paul reminds us in scripture that we are the many parts that make up our faith community and continues on to identify some of those spiritual gifts.  You may not be employed by a church or be a missionary by trade, but you indeed have a ministry and your gifts and strengths are part of your ministry.  Take an inventory; listen to what people admire about you, pay attention to what you enjoy, and simply embrace the gifts God has given you today.

Thank goodness we all have different gifts and strengths.  Let’s celebrate fulfilling God’s calling that we be not only his hands and feet but also his eyes and ears.  Let’s break the mold and find value in raising one another up and celebrating our individual gifts and strengths rather than becoming envious of the calling and ministry of others.  Are you in?

What are your gifts and how do you use those for your faith community?  The body of Christ is not complete without you!