A READER ASKS
“Dear Lord, I was eager to serve You when I took over as volunteer coordinator at a local service mission, but it’s making me a worse Christian instead of a better one! The gentleman who handles the inventory of donated goods is incredibly disorganized, the woman who comes in to do crafts lets the children run all over the place, and the newsletter editor…well, let’s just say her skills leave a bit to be desired. I should be glad these people are helping, but I find myself outwardly forcing a smile while inwardly I think mean and mocking thoughts. They’re all kind individuals who blossom under my compliments, not knowing I’m being insincere. I’m no paragon of virtue, and I certainly don’t need to add hypocrisy to my flaws. Please help me see beyond the flaws of others and genuinely appreciate their efforts!”
—Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, 12:4–6
Wisdom of the Word
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
We understand and yet…
We strive to keep our hearts open and loving, but still feel irritated by the shortcomings of others. We criticize them inwardly on the basis of our own talents and abilities, though we know we’re not perfect either. Why do we keep doing this? And how can we stop?