Trying to Balance It All
Each day we open up Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter we become dazed over what we are not doing. Scrolling through, I find myself starting to compare as more items are added to my to-do list. The rise of information sharing has great rewards, though I fear it also leaves us exhausted, guilty, and struggling to juggle it all. Do you feel it too?
“That woman makes delicious organic meals. My family is missing out.”
“She is so crafty with her kids. I’m not doing enough.”
“My friend serves with the middle school, I probably should too!”
“Do my kids need to learn piano now like that family?”
“They have more people to love in a neighborhood. Do we need to move?”
“You’re right, that issue is so important. How can I support them all?!”
And the guilt continues. Until one day I was jolted to some truth while reading in 1 Corinthians.
There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.
Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
The Corinthians were arguing over whose spiritual gift was better. Paul knew the seed to these conflicts was pride, and he answers with a humble reminder I need as well. We are all part of a community- a body. As a body needs its parts (well, maybe not the gallbladder? 😉 ) we need to humbly accept our need. Each part serves a function- it is not expected to do all, but instead to join all in the same cause.
Pride says we are on our own. Humility yokes us to community.
Pride tells us we will do it best. Humility tells us any good comes from God.
Pride mutters, “I should be able to do all things.” Humility says, “Maybe God has not asked that of me.”
Instead of abusing myself over the choices of others, I can remember where God has placed me. I can make my choices with the Spirit’s wisdom and rest that I don’t have to choose everything. Instead of feeling guilt over the people others are reaching in their neighborhood, I can open my eyes to who is around me. I don’t have to be super mom, but can purpose to love my kids well, whether that includes finger-paints or not. I don’t have to take on every ministry and every cause, but I can identify the ones I’m best equipped for and serve there faithfully.
I can make my choices with the Spirit’s wisdom and rest that I don’t have to choose everything.
Nothing is wrong with admiring gifts in other people and learning from them. We should be very sensitive to God’s prodding, but also careful to separate it from our earthly desire for supremacy. We cannot have all gifts, we cannot champion all causes, and we were not meant to do all things.
God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body?
One of the amazing things about the body of Christ is that it is so different. So many stories, walks of life, and personalities are brought together by one mission- by one God. We must work to conquer the pride that threatens this community. Let us rejoice with the gifts God has given our brothers and sisters. Only then can we find freedom in the tasks that God has given specifically to us. These are the tasks to pursue; ones to pursue faithfully, richly, and humbly.
Success is not what you have done compared to what others have done. Success is what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do. – Tony Evans