No Fruit is Perfect
I’m on holiday (yay!) to Sardinia at the moment, and I’ve noticed how the fruit and veg they sell in the markets (as well as in the supermarkets) – as you can sort of see in the photo above – is far from the uniform ‘perfect’ fruit we seem to almost always find in our supermarkets here back in the UK. It also tastes so much fresher and generally better! (Maybe I’ve been converted to Italian food…)
Anyway, this got me thinking about the way God made each of us. He didn’t create us all the same, so that our churches would be filled with round-faced evangelists (tomatoes) or tall thin pastors (carrots) etc., etc. The list could go on, and hopefully you catch my drift… 1 Corinthians 12v19-20 comes to mind: “If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” But thankfully God made us all different! In our abilities, in our callings, in our giftings, and in our physical bodies too! So that His body, the church (as well as his beautiful bride), contains such diversity.
So I guess the main takeaway from this is: stop comparing yourself to others. And I’m speaking to myself as much as I am to anyone who might be reading this. God didn’t make you to be like Joe down the road, a little bit like your uni mate Emma, and not really like your colleague Andy. God made you to be YOU. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to other people (in and out of church), that somethings we forget that God made a completely unique [insert your name here].
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64v8
Ask God to mold you more into the best version of yourself in Him, so you can do the things God intended for YOU and live at the best potential for [insert your name here]. Today, be the person God wants YOU to be.
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10v30-31
God loves you and he cares very deeply for you! He’s knows you better than you know yourself (which just seems ridiculous, but good ridiculous!) You are so precious to God.
Italian chat up lines….
Let me tell you a story from my time on holiday here in Sardinia… I was waiting on the roadside with my family for a bus and a middle-aged Italian man pulls up in his car to speak to us. He didn’t seem to have anything in particular to say to us (as often seems to be the way in Italy), except to keep referring to me as pretty, and generally making me feel quite embarrassed! Now funny as this little story from my time in Italy might be, the whole concept of a man looking at me in that way, if I’m being honest, made me feel very uncomfortable. It comes round to the question of ownership. I am not an object, I was bought at a price. And that price was Jesus’ blood. I am God’s very own possession (Deuteronomy 14v2*).
Now the world might tell us (particularly women) that we should look beautiful, so that we will be desired. But actually I want to be more like Leah in Genesis 29, who had a beautiful heart that loved God (as can be seen in the names she gives to her sons), rather than a beautiful body like her sister Rachel (interesting considering my name…) I want to be like the woman of Proverbs 31: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (verse 30)
Takeaway: it all comes back to comparison. Don’t let the world tell you what you should look like, what you should wear, how you should talk, what you should watch or listen to. Rely on God’s Word for that – God jam-packed it full of awesome truths!
*I am aware that I have taken this verse slightly out of context but I still believe God calls us his ‘treasured possession’ – he wouldn’t have sent his one and only son to the cross to save us from our sin if we weren’t his treasured possession! (See also Psalm 18v19)