I Am Only One But I Am One

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance to do. –Ephesians 2:10

Consider the following quote:

I am only one, but I am one;
I cannot do everything
But I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do
And what I ought to do
By the grace of God, I will do.
–Canon Farrar

We live in a culture that constantly shines a spotlight on the famous: pretty or especially gifted people (or both!) We live in a celebrity-focused culture. Just think about all of the media devoted to celebrities. It would be great if the church was immune from this culture, but it isn’t. Even the Christian community tends to highlight our best people; from musicians to speakers, to those involved in doing incredible ministry. While I’m not saying that spotlighting is wrong, I am concerned that there are many of us who become disheartened because we know our efforts don’t approach the skills or successes of those of the extremely gifted. I am concerned that some of us give up attempting to make a difference when we think we can’t measure up.

True, we may never be celebrities in the eyes of the world or even within the Christian community. But, God doesn’t call us to be famous. He calls us to love one another. He calls us to give ourselves away to serve others. The needs of our world are great, and we cannot do everything. Still, as part of the body of Christ, we have a unique and invaluable role to play. God has purposely designed us for accomplishing good works in His name.

Stop playing the comparison game. Anyone who plays that game loses. There will always be someone else who does things better or is more effective. We are called to serve the Lord. Our desire should be solely to please Him. Serve Him today to the best of your abilities. Your service will be a sacrifice of praise to the King.

GOING DEEPER:
1. How has the “spotlighting” of gifted Christians or ministries influenced you (for better or for worse)?

2. How can comparing your gifts and abilities to others hurt your ability to serve the Lord?

FURTHER READING:
Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 12; Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 6:7

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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