“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
We live in a world in Christians are blessed with unique vocations or callings from God. Some Christians are called to be medical doctors while others are called to be teachers. Still others are called to be artists, social workers, officials, scientists, entrepreneurs, or evangelists and the list goes on. Some of these positions receive more widespread recognition than others; many individuals around the world know about ministers such as St. Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and Billy Graham. In the face of these Christians’ fame, it can be tempting for many “everyday” Christians to compare their lives with others even if they’re fulfilling God’s plans. After comparing themselves to others, these Christians may be frustrated with themselves and their own callings in life.
While it’s good to feel inspired by others, it is important to remember that no Christian is more or less important in the body of Christ than any other Christian. God has given everyone a unique role to play for His glory, whether it appears big or small in this world.
We can compare the Christian body to a feast at a mansion. Think of Jesus as a wealthy, distinguished gentleman who decides to invite all of his friends and relatives to his house for a special dinner. The table in the dining room is large enough so that the host and all the guests can dine together.
Let’s imagine that everyone who was invited arrives for dinner. Many of the guests are the host’s relatives who are also wealthy and distinguished; each relative has a unique relationship with the host, but all of the relatives find a seat at the table. However, imagine that there’s one guest who is a friend of the host but is not known by anyone else at the feast. Although this man received an invitation, someone had forgotten to find a seat for him. It would be awkward to ask multiple guests to share a seat. Either the friend finds another seat, or he can’t join the feast. The host temporarily postpones the dinner and searches around the entire mansion until he finds another chair for his friend.
It may seem funny that the host would be so determined to find a chair for this guest. However, this problem is significant. There was a reason why the host invited the guest to dinner: the host sincerely wanted that guest to be in his company. Because the guest also wanted to see the host, he accepted the invitation and came to dinner. If it doesn’t matter if the “stranger” joins the feast, why was he invited in the first place? The “stranger” is just as important to the host as the host’s brother or any other guest at the feast. The man who is known by almost nobody is just as important to God as the man who is known by everybody.
This isn’t a perfect analogy, but it attempts to explain how God sees every Christian as special. God invites each of us to be with Him (both in Heaven and on Earth), but the way that He interacts with us varies for every person. Furthermore, God has a unique plan and vision of how He wants to be part of our lives. Some Christians become medical doctors so they could bring healing and medicine to the sick. Other Christians become teachers so they could share wisdom and understanding with other people. Christians carry out different acts of service, but the same God works through all of them. Regardless of his vocation, every Christian receives the same invitation: a chance to attend God’s Heavenly feast. It’s a matter of accepting the invitation.