Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "More Love To Thee"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 4:16 – He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (NLT)
One chose to stay on the farm; the other chose city life.
When my mom was a junior in high school, she chose to leave her family farm and marry my dad. Her new life would take her away from her country upbringing and plant her in cities for the remainder of her life. Mom's sister married a Navy man but chose to build their home next to her parents' and remain on the family farm — a place where she stayed until her death.
The old homeplace was sold for a negligible amount — and it seemed that the same would happen to my aunt's home. But her oldest son stepped in and decided that he and his wife would make it their retirement home, with all the hunting, fishing, and golf that he could stand. It's refreshing to know that the home will remain in the family.
I always envied my cousins, growing up with open land all around them, hunting, fishing, and romping through the woods. Having pets wasn't a problem. Leash laws didn't exist. They were able to raise chickens, cows, hogs, and anything else they wanted without having to wonder where they'd put them or if the smell would offend the neighbours. They lived a very carefree, down-to-earth lifestyle.
Because Mom and Dad chose the city life, I had to endure it as well. Though it has its conveniences, I still miss the open land and the perks that come with country living.
I've also been known to envy those whom God is using in ways that I wish He'd use me. Paul reminded the early believers that the church is like a body. Each part has a special function, and it is fitted together perfectly. When one piece is out of whack, the entire body is affected.
Curbing my jealousy is an ongoing lesson that God is teaching me. Instead of envying what He is doing in other believers' lives, I enjoy what He's doing in mine and rejoice in what He's doing in theirs. I'm not in competition but in cahoots with other believers. Our job is not to fuss and fight but to work together to accomplish God's work in this world. He gives each of us unique opportunities and personalities. Even when I share the same gift as another person, I will use it differently.
Rather than envying someone else's gift, let us each use ours to fulfill God's plan.
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us unique gifts, personalities, and opportunities. May we use them faithfully in Your service. Amen.