Devotions

Alike, But Not the Same

By Mary Loudermilk
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“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:4-5, New King James Version).

We did it again! A friend recently flew in for a short visit, and I drove to the airport to pick her up. As I pulled away from the passenger pickup zone, she looked at me and said, “Same shirt.” I glanced over and, sure enough, we wore identical tops in the same color. Twins again—although we got dressed that morning more than 1,500 miles apart. It wasn’t the first time, and knowing our similar tastes, probably not the last time either.

Our ability to purchase the same items while living hundreds of miles apart has created some funny moments. On a trip together, I pulled on my jacket to head out for the day and was shocked at how much weight I’d gained on vacation. I struggled to zip it closed. What a relief when I realized I’d grabbed her identical (but smaller) jacket by mistake. Another time, another trip together, it was our shoes. I wiggled and pushed to get my feet into my shoes. Had all the walking caused my feet to swell this much? No. I was trying to wear my friend’s shoes. Identical style but a different size.

When They Don’t Fit

Have you tried to wear someone else’s shoes? Not very comfortable is it? Too big and they flop; too small and they pinch. But what if you are trying to walk in someone else’s “shoes” in the body of Christ? Those may not fit so well either. We each have our own place to fill, and God equips us accordingly.

As a young teen, I felt great admiration for certain speakers or musicians I would hear at conferences and special services. As I grew a little older, I began to judge my talents and abilities against those of my heroes of faith—and I never measured up. The “shoes” I admired just didn’t fit. I didn’t realize that God will give me the perfect shoes to carry me where He wants me to go. His plan for my place in the body of Christ is tailor-made to fit me. I am not a copy of anyone else. I am uniquely me, and I must fill my unique place within the body.

A longtime friend from church is very quiet and unassuming. Nothing in her mannerisms draws attention to her or what she does. It took me quite a while before I recognized her special place within the body. If someone visited, she made her way to greet them. If someone sat alone or looked a little sad, she would slip in the pew and sit beside them that service. She noticed people and cared about their needs. Few ever realized her actions. She was a quiet encourager.

It’s All Important

We are the ones who attach words such as insignificant or unimportant to what we do. These are not God’s words. Any task He assigns us—big or small, public or behind the scenes—holds significance. Anything done for His kingdom is important.

Romans 12:4 says even though we are all members of the body of Christ, we do not all perform the same function or role. Don’t judge yourself by the talents and abilities of others. All God asks is that you fill the special place He designed just for you.

Whose shoes are you wearing today?

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that my significance comes from You. Help me to recognize the gifts and callings You placed in my life so I can effectively use them to do Your work. Anything You ask me to do, great or small, is important. I want to fill the place You chose for me.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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