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I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
The world seems to recognize those who boast and brag, even when their boasts are empty and their bragging reflects a detachment from the real world. Still, we seem both to notice and to reward the proud and the arrogant, those who think highly of themselves, men and women who may not be nearly as smart or as funny or as charming as they think the are. And when we read about pastors who talk about “needing” private jets, it’s pretty obvious this attitude has crept into the faith. Certain gifts and talents are viewed as more spiritual than others. And certain people are seen as closer to God than those whom they lead. I guess, adapting a line from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in both our communities and our congregations, all people are equal. It’s just that some are more equal than others.
But that’s not the kind of community Paul envisioned, not when he wrote “...by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” You see, we’re all equal in the sight of God. And we all possess gifts and talents that can reveal his glory. And so, for those of us who look down on the rest, maybe it’s time for them to dismount their high horse. And for those of us who believe they’re giftless, maybe it’s time for us to help them discover what makes them special in God’s sight and to offer them the chance to use those unique talents. And when we do that, not only will we be following the teachings of Paul, we’ll be practicing some Godly humility ourselves.