Community gives you identity, individually, in ways you could never find on your own, by yourself...True community gives you permission to be yourself.
— Krissy Nordhoff

When we are feeling lost, discouraged, insignificant, unappreciated, invisible, etc. our coping mechanism is to isolate ourselves.  Humans seem to be the cause of human problems so naturally the answer is to stay away from humans, right? The problem is when I go look in the mirror there's a human staring back at me and she's my worst critic. (Don't tell my family this….I have them all convinced I'm Wonder Woman and they would be devastated to find out I'm a mere mortal.)  

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Example: I think I talk way too much.  Almost every time I leave a social gathering I think back on everything I said, and how much I said, and I end up berating myself and feeling like an idiot.  But, if I can learn to steward this gift of gab, I will find there is great benefit.  I can use it to make people feel comfortable, welcome, appreciated and loved. That's what I would tell someone else anyway, I should probably believe it for myself.  

In March's Brave Podcast Krissy mentioned 1 Corinthians where it talks about each of us being a part of one bigger body.  Right before those verses Paul was talking about spiritual gifts and how each gift is different, but come from the same Source.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
— I Corinthians 12:7-11

The first sentence gives us a clue about how spiritual gifts should work: for the common good.  The NLT translates it, "so we can help each other." We need to be in community for that to happen.

It is so easy to compare our spiritual gift with someone else that has the same gift.  This other person might appear to have more influence or have more opportunities to share their gift with others.  We don't need to worry about that. We need to concern ourselves with using our gifts for the Kingdom, no matter how big or small it may seem.  Take burger joints for an example. I love me a good burger, I’m a foodie, but let me tell you, not all burgers are created equal! My current favorites are The Pharmacy in Nashville and Burger Up.  Those are some good burgers! I will not eat a burger from McDonald's or Burger King.  Yes, there are millions of people who do eat there, and once upon a time I was one of them, but I can't do it anymore.  My taste buds have discovered something new. Does that make McDonald's or Burger King wrong? No, not wrong, just different. The same comparison can be made of us with our personalities and spiritual gifts.  

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Will it be thousands of somebodies?  Maybe, maybe not. The point is your unique DNA reaches someone.  They could have heard what you said a hundred times before from a hundred different people, but the way you carry and present the same message is exactly what they needed for it to click in their spirit.  Isn't that beautiful and amazing?! You might think, "I don't want to write a song about the blood of Jesus. There's a thousand songs about His blood. Why would mine make a difference?" Or, "I don't want to write a book about faith.  There are thousands of books about faith. Who would want to read mine?"

You don't know who needs to hear your version.  That's why you need to do it!! And, in doing so, God will bring a community around you that will not only help you grow in your identity and gifting, but you'll be able to help them as well.  Like a body "fitly joined together".

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
— Ephesians 4:16
Jenny Sanders


Jenny Sanders

Songwriter, Blogger, Carmel-Making Momma!

Follow Jenny and her family at Sanders Family Adventures!