Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
February 18, 2009
A Brownie Knife
Sylvia Basham, She Speaks! Graduate
“But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.”
1 Corinthians 12.18 (ESV)
Oddly enough, I’m thinking about plastic knives today. You know, the kind you get with your to-go meal at restaurants, packaged with a plastic fork, spoon, and napkin?
For years I ditched the plastic knife, thinking they are a waste of energy and not very useful at cutting my food. Steak, chicken, pot roast …metal knives slice right through these, but not plastic knives. Hard foods are not their forte. Where plastic knives do excel, however, is in cutting fresh from the oven, piping hot brownies!
Have you ever cut brownies with a table knife and made a ragged mess out of them? Well, I’ve discovered a way to enjoy them, and keep them in tact, while they’re still warm. I’ve used this trick successfully for years, as my hips will attest. Nice squares of warm, gooey chocolate goodness with smooth edges can be yours when cut with a plastic knife.
Knowing plastic knives’ special knack for cutting brownies, I use them specifically for that purpose. I don’t try to cut cardboard, steak or wood with them. That would be a senseless misuse of their gifts.
Oh, but how often have I misused my gifts or stepped away from my natural talents, attempting something I am not really cut out to do? This usually leads to frustration and a mess.
The point is this: God designed each one of us with certain abilities, but we tend to look at the abilities of the other women and we get caught in the comparison trap. We try to emulate her gifts and her talents when God has called us to something totally different.
Some of my friends have better culinary skills. Some of my friends train their children better than I. Some of my friends are well organized. Some of my friends...well, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: What am I going to do with what I am?
Paul puts it this way in I Corinthians 12.17-19: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?” (ESV)
In what way has God gifted you? Have you yet to use that talent for His glory? Are you a wonderful hostess? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is a teacher. Are you an organizer? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is creative. Are you great with children? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who writes the newsletter.
After many years of anguish over my place in this world, or in my church, or in a women’s group, I’ve come to embrace that which God has blessed me with. And I’ve decided I love being a plastic brownie knife!
Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and talents You’ve given each of us. Please show us where we are most useful for Your kingdom and Your purposes. Give us boldness to carry out Your will especially when it might be an unexpected task. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Youniquely Woman: Becoming Who God Designed You To Be by Kay Arthur, Emilie Barnes and Donna Otto
The Confident Woman by Anabel Gillham
Pray and ask God to reveal your gifts and passions which can best be used to further His kingdom. Embrace and excel in your uniqueness. Be available when opportunities arise for which your talents are best suited.
Are you grateful for your gifts or do you dismiss them as useless?
Are you second-guessing God and making comparisons with the talents of others?
Will you choose to love who God created you to be?
2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (NIV)
Matthew 25:22-23, "The man with the two talents also came. ’Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105