I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. [1 Corinthians 9:22b (ESV)]

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. [Philippians 4:13 (ESV)]

“I don’t do desserts!” my neighbor said. My initial thought was, “Anyone can bake brownies!” As it turns out, my neighbor was absolutely right; a horrible cook, she is proof that not everyone can bake a tray of brownies! Unlike me, however, she has a gift with animals and volunteers at the Conservancy caring for injured wildlife.

God gave each of us the gift of doing some things well. As important as it is to know what those gifts are and to use them wisely, it’s just as important to know what our gifts aren’t! We’re not divine and there will always be some things we don’t do well, no matter how hard we try. When Paul said he’d become all things to all people, he meant he could find common ground with them and was sensitive to their needs, not that he could do all things for them. Moreover, when he said he could do all things through Christ, He wasn’t claiming to be a superman. He was speaking of the strength God gives us to faithfully endure the challenges of life. We can’t be all things to all people nor can we do all things for them. Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman brings unnecessary stress to us and poor results to everyone else. Only God can do it all!

God has given each of us different ways to best serve Him and others. There are certain things, such as painting, public speaking, guitar playing, computer programming, teaching, and even baking, that some of us can do. There are a number of things, like gossiping, enabling, hating or belittling, that none of us should do. There also are specific things, like worshipping, praying and serving, that all of us can and should do.

Father, help us recognize both our gifts and limitations. Show us how to manage our talents in the best possible way to bring honor and glory to you.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function… Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. [Romans 12:4,6a (ESV)]

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: [1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)]

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