“I hope they like me. I hope I fit in.”
“What if they don’t? If I don’t fit in? Why did I even come?”
These could be the thoughts of a middle-school girl walking into a new cafeteria. Or a new mom attending her first MOPS meeting. It might even be a woman, well into her 50s, on the first morning of a new Bible study or other small group. (just sayin). The desire to fit in is real for all of us. For all ages and maturity – both physical and spiritual. We’ve all found ourselves standing at the threshold of that new place…mentally assessing whether we measure up. It can be torturous. I often think those feelings, and the entire comparison trap in general, should be something I would have a better handle on by now but, in reality, I struggle with them far too often. Talking with other ladies, I don’t think I am alone.
Today’s FMF prompt is MEASURE. I know my thoughts are much more than five minutes but I am going to try my best.
GO – Romans 12:1-2 are two of my favorite verses…life verses, if you will. I quote them, meditate on them and rehearse them often. I do want my life to be a living sacrifice. I know that renewing my mind and not allowing the world to shape my thinking, my choices and my attitude is crucial. But, interestingly, I rarely consider verse three along with this passage. Romans 12:3 says:
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
The passage continues with the explanation that each of us has been given unique and different gifts. So often, it is easy for me to see – and admire – the unique talents and gifts of others. Of all those ladies sitting in the Bible study. I have little trouble noticing the many different personalities and unique abilities – and see them as special; but at the same time, feel my unique gifts make me..well, different. In an awkward way…that doesn’t measure up.
I often heard the phrase “By God’s grace, I am what I am.” Usually, I hear it offered almost as an excuse for who we are. But, this verse in Romans confirms that “by God’s grace, I am what I am” is exactly right. Because of God’s grace, each of us has been given a measure of faith. A certain and unique quantity. I know women of great faith. I know and am humbled by women with real wisdom. Women with gifts and abilities that I so admire – and desire. But I am responsible for the talents, gifts, and design that God has given me. Those are the only ones I can use to be “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”
STOP – There is much more that could be said. I pray these five-minute ramblings will encourage you to not only appreciate (even, embrace) your unique gifts but to also look for ways, even today, to use them for His good, and acceptable, will. Just in case, you are not familiar with my favorite verses, I will end with them. Be sure to check out the other posts with thoughts on MEASURE.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”