Strength Through Diversity

Opening Prayer:

God, surround me with other believers that I may find victory in life. Help me to recognize the unique gifts given to God’s children to help the Church accomplish all that You desire.

 

Read: Proverbs 24: 5,6 NIV

“The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”

 

Reflect:

The secular world has often come to adopt the truth that success is achieved through many advisers much more readily than believers. The business world, in particular, has brainstorming sessions, committees, round table discussions, etc. - all designed around the idea that better decisions are made as a group than as individuals. In fact, several years ago, I gave a lecture at work about the value of having many advisers. As part of the lecture, I had everyone in attendance take a survival quiz. After taking the test on their own, I divided everyone up into teams to retake the same quiz. Not surprisingly the average score on the test was significantly higher when taken as a team than taken as individuals. The Bible in Romans 12:6 tells us why better decisions are made “through many advisers” and it is because God has given each of us different gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul likens the body of believers to a human body. He then goes on to illustrate the absurdity of all the parts being the same. If all of us were noses then how would we hear? If all of us were eyes then how would we smell? As finite human beings we are limited in our experiences and in our abilities and thus we need others to fill in the gaps. Some of us are noses and some of us are ears metaphorically speaking. There will be situations in life where God has given us gifts to be victorious, but we will also face many areas in life where we don’t have as much to offer. During these situations we have the blessing and privilege of recognizing the gifts God has bestowed on other believers.

 

Apply:

None of us desire to be unsuccessful in life yet we often keep ourselves from being victorious or winning more battles because we try do life on our own. Doing life on our own is not a mark of maturity but of futility. God has given each of us unique strengths and weaknesses so that we may bless others and be blessed. The best way to take advantage of the many gifts bestowed on the body of believers is to regularly meet with them. You may have heard of these ongoing meetings as “bible study”, “small groups”, “life groups” etc. but regardless of what they are called they are designed by God so that we have victory through many advisers.

 

Closing Prayer:

Lord I want to be victorious in life. Help me to put away those things that would prevent me from having many advisers: pride, isolation, fear. Surround me with those people who are given gifts that I have not received. Help me not be envious of others but celebrate the diversity inherent in the body of Christ.

 

Terry Schneider