Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old Wrapping Paper and the Body of Christ

A few years ago on my son's birthday, he received a present from his grandparents wrapped in cowboy wrapping paper, I mean, vintage cowboy wrapping paper. My mother-in-law had saved this paper from when my husband was a little boy (5, maybe?) and his grandparents used it to wrap his birthday present. How cool is that?!

If you know me well (or not so well, possibly you've heard all the rumors) you would know that holding on to a piece of wrapping paper, however cute and sentimental it might be, for 27 or so odd years would be the last thing I could or would do. I just don't hang on to things for that long, truth be told, even a quarter of that long. I don't like clutter and so many of those sentimental pieces of paper get thrown away. (see here for an example)

By God's grace, I have a wonderful mother-in-law who was quite at ease with my teasing over the wrapping paper and we joked that if the world were made up of people like me, there would be no Smithsonian because I would have pitched every historical piece of paper I came across. What's this? The Constitution? I'm sure we have this saved on a computer somewhere - to the trash! And we joked that if the world were made up of people like my dear mom-in-law, we would be living on a spaceship while Wall.e was busy tidying up our planet for our return. There is a need for both of our personality types, to balance out each group.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, especially when the Holy Spirit is kind enough to bring my sinful pride to my attention. This is exactly how the body of Christ is made up. For some reason He has chosen to redeem all kinds of people and then place them in the same local body to work together to bring Him glory. If the local body were made up of people who think like me, there would be some serious deficiencies, I'm sure. And the same goes for other personality types.

But the rub occurs when we actually try to get along with people who think and/or act differently than we do. When we would rather just smile and nod and move along and never have to speak to that person again. That is when the gospel matters. That is when I have to remind myself that John 13:35 is true: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

This type of love doesn't come from steeling my will to put up with someone different than I. No, this love comes from Christ, from His sacrifice that implores us and enables us to love each other as He loves us. It isn't always easy, but ultimately I believe that it is possible, and I remind myself of this miraculous truth when I'm tempted with superiority.

Thank you, Father, for making each one of us unique and for loving us despite our pride and arrogance. Help me to love others as you have loved me and to further your gospel by this supernatural ability.


Linda C said...

Thanks, Donette-- and great illustration!! I am a saver too, but am in the middle of organizing and purging ... and..it..hurts..sometimes:)

I'm so glad we are not suppose to be the same-- and that the Lord can use us all- and our crazy ways. In fact He can use those crazy ways to point others His Way.:)

Love ya!

Rachel said...

Well said, Donette! Great thoughts.!

Gretchen said...

Great post, Donette. Thanks for pointing us to the gospel through this simple thing.

Did you at least take a picture of that wrapping paper? :)

Sherry said...

Thanks for sharing this life illustration. Working closely with other believers will make our differences known and thanks for reminding me to be thankful for them.

Donette said...

Yes, we did get pictures, and even video of that momentous occasion, then I threw it away! I'm terrible, I know!

sarah said...

Thanks Donette! I needed to hear that today especially!! HOw did you know? :)