Body Envy

We’ve all done it. Probably girls more than guys. Envied someone because of their thick straight hair or gorgeous curls. Their thin legs, tiny waist, six-pack abs. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about spiritual gifts. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a musical bone in my body. So one might think, I’d want God to grant me a beautiful voice or the talent to play the piano. That would be cool but really the gift I most covet is the gift of administration. Weird huh?
I would love to have the ability to head up a team and delegate out tasks. But that’s not me. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a purpose in leadership. Or lack gifts. Or even that I’m ungrateful for the gifts I have. I love the passage in I Corinthians 12 about spiritual gifts. “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.” (I Corinthians 12:14-15 ESV)
Last weekend I was on a retreat that I helped plan. The retreat was a huge success and the committee chair called us her “Dream Team”. We had a leader with the gift of administration in spades (or maybe diamonds), the servant who did, did, did, the cheerleader with a ton of ideas and great enthusiasm, the quiet behind-the-scenes lady, and me, the data head. All of us worked hard and excelled in our roles. Most of all we prayed. A lot.
My skills were used and tested as the one who collected the money and kept the master spreadsheet with all of the details. My attention-to-detail engineer’s mind loved it. And I was spared the task of calling people for last-minute ride arrangements. Whew! I hate, loathe, and despise talking on the phone. That is until the caller got sick (symptoms included a lost voice), and the backup was out all day. Did you catch the word last-minute? Did I mention mucking up this detail was my biggest fear and logistics was the area I prayed over the entire time we were planning?
I had the phone numbers and the time. So out of my pillow-padded comfort zone I went. No one got left behind. We had an amazing time. And I performed under the promise “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
Is there a talent or spiritual gift you would love to have?
When was a time when you got to perform in your sweet spot?
What about a time when you were pulled out of your comfort zone?

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9 thoughts on “Body Envy

  1. I’ve always wanted better administration and leadership skills too. I’ve seen many administrators who are not good leaders. To lead without being a tyrant is admirable.

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  2. I’ve always wanted to be more personable. It’s one of the things I admire about my husband. This fall I was asked to help out once a month with the children’s ministry. And I have a hard time saying no. But dealing with a mob of children is tantamount to monthly torture for me. I love my own daughter but really don’t get any joy out of additional kids. But I’m doing it. It’s good for me to stretch myself and I made a commitment and I will stick to it. (But I can’t wait for the season to end so I can let someone else take over the reigns!) My sweet spot is service and international ministry – so just about every Saturday I am in high heaven taking our “friendship family” International students grocery shopping and then hanging out at their apartment playing Uno and drinking Nepali milk tea. 🙂

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    • What an amazing ministry you have with international students. I recently made the difficult decision to step away from a role in children’s ministry to focus on women’s ministry. It was the right decision. I like working in children’s ministry but only in small doses. I pulled out of nursery duty as soon as my daughter was old enough. I was fine “taking my turn” but it wasn’t an area I enjoyed serving. Both “yes” and “no” can be hard answers.

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  3. Nice title… it got me chuckling. I think He gives each one of us the gift(s) we need to fit together as one. 🙂

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    • I love provocative titles 🙂
      Yes, God spells it out pretty clearly that we each have gifts, and each of us is essential to the body. I love that! It’s cool seeing how personalities make each spiritual gift manifest differently. I’m pretty sure most people don’t get excited about entering information in a spreadsheet and figuring out ride logistics, payment status, shirt sizes, and lunch headcounts. But I looked forward to playing with my master spreadsheet after each meeting.

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  4. That’s so funny! I had you pegged as a total get things done leader! That’s the way you come off to me anyway. But God pulls us and pushes us to mould us into more we could ever be without HIm. Bravo on the weekend!

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    • A lot of people think that but I don’t see it. One colleague has a great description for my personality type – “lower case A”. Very fitting. I’m not afraid to voice my opinion and I can take charge, but when faced with a stronger personality or person with greater authority, I defer.

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  5. Great post, Gretchen. Your committee working together so efficiently is something I LOVE to see. If we each embraced our gifts–and had the gumption to say NO to things that aren’t us–this effective example would be repeated so much more often.

    Organization and administration are my thing along with hospitality and cooking. And i’m good in very small groups or one-on-one BUT I’m soooo out of my element when it comes to speaking in front of large groups. I keep telling myself there’s no reason i can’t handle this but I’ve not improved much. Not a good trait for an author…

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