Friday, February 29, 2008

Part of the whole: Knowing your role in the body of Christ

"Now the body is not made up of one part but of many... Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." (I Corinthians 12:14 & 27)

We live in the age of empowerment. I am woman, hear me roar. Supermom. I can bring home the bacon and fry it up, too. We as women, and especially as moms, are encouraged to do it all!

At first glance, this is a great thing. Who doesn't tell their child, "You can be anything you want to be"? But there's a key word in there, don't you think? Anything. "You can be anything--not everything--you want to be."

It can feel a little oppressive at first to hear that we can't--and shouldn't--do it all. Most of us have talents in multiple areas, and we want to make use of them all. In the past year, I spent several months searching, begging for ministry opportunities. I would jump at everything that seemed to be a good fit for me, but God kept closing the doors. Then about a month ago, a door flew wide open... and then another... and then another... and then another...! Suddenly I had more opportunities than I did time. I'm not complaining--it was such a nice change! Still, I found myself sinking into the "Supermom" trap. I wanted to do it all and ask for more. Recently I was given the opportunity to put together a one-day retreat for women in my area, and I think my original thought was, "OK, I can plan this myself, make all of the brochures myself, make all of the contacts myself, run the event, lead the worship, and be a speaker." Yeah, right! Who am I kidding? This coming from a woman who can barely keep her children AND herself in clean clothes on a daily basis.

But here's the flipside of the coin: I don't have to do it all. It's so freeing! God has given me a unique set of talents and skills, and with them a unique role to fulfill in the body of Christ… but I can't and shouldn't try to fill the roles He has set out for others to do. "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don't need you!' And the head cannot say to the feet, 'I don't need you!'" (I Corinthians 12:21) By trying to do it all, we cheat ourselves and those around us. Each part is important and is designated to someone who can do it exactly as God intended.

What side of the fence are you on? Maybe you are searching for your role. What does God have for you to do? Where can you serve, find your sense of purpose? Rest assured that you are an integral part of the body, fulfilling a role that only you can do.

Or maybe you are trying to do it all. Do you ever feel stretched too thin? Or like a square peg in a round hole? Look for areas where you can ask for help, and for those who might be a good fit in those areas. Let go of things that you want to be able to do that maybe aren't a good fit.

I would encourage each of you to take a few minutes this week to read I Corinthians 12:14-27. This passage has been so meaningful in my life. It talks about everything I have written here, as well as encouraging each other and working together as the body of Christ. Read it over and think about your role, and how you can encourage others as well. Whether you are "Supermom" or "Searching Mom", God will reveal His purpose for you.

1 comment:

Lisa! said...

Katy - amazing post! Although you put it from a mom's perspective, it describes exactly how I feel in my everyday life! I feel as though lately God has shown me new directions for my life, some of them very scary, but I am very thankful nonetheless! (o:

I look forward to reading more of your posts... although I'm not a mom yet, you have great insights! You are definitely very blessed, and it is so good to catch up and "see" all those blessings in your life! :-D