Journal Entry by Brenda Jones

S – Scripture 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:4-6‬ ‭(NLT)
"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”

O – Observation
God is clearly a fan of diversity. And the purpose of diversity was to bring strength, creativity, scope and impact to the body of Christ. While He is unchanging, & is at work in all of us. He doesn't move in each of us in the same way. But as He uniquely moves in each of us, He draws us together for a common purpose.

A – Application  
One of my favourite songs to sing along to when I hear it, is Armand Van Helden's "You don't know me".  The lyric opens like this. "You don't really know me, you say that I'm not living right, you don't understand me, so why do you judge my life?" I remember the 1st time I heard this song, & feeling it was like an anthem to a life where I never felt like I quite fit in. And while it's not a godly song at all, it still holds a place because I still can resonate with it, not just in how others see me, but in how I perceive the judgement of others & my own acceptance of the ways God has created me to be. 
But I loved this reminder from 1 Corinthians 12 that even now as a follower of Jesus, I haven't been created or am being transformed by a one size fits all cookie cutter God. Rather He does things in me in a way that is unique to others. Who He created me to be is not the same as others around me.  But at the heart of who I am is the same Jesus, the same Spirit and the same God as is in all my Christian family and friends. We might have different ways of being & doing, but if He's at the centre we are all part of His big puzzle & have a unique fit in the overall scheme of things.

P – Prayer
Father God, when I think of the creativity and breadth of diversity in Your creation I can't help but feel overwhelmed and in awe of just how amazing You are. But I love the reminder that in the diversity of creation, You are always so intentional in Your purposes, and have the overall picture of how all the pieces fit together. Lord, help me first to not be so judgemental of the ways of others. Let me see them by their strengths & unique purpose as You have created them, & to find ways to encourage, even when what I see is so distinct and foreign to me. And Jesus come along and continue to work in me, to set me free from the impacts the judgments of others have on me. As I draw near to You, show me Your design and purpose for my life, so I can stand in assurance that I am on the path You have called me to, & that the judgements of others don't toss me to & fro. Amen