“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
What? If some are “more equal” then there is no equality.
This famous quote from George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm has been repeated often and if you’ve never read it, you should . . . it tells us much about our sinful human nature.
The book synopsis says the following:
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned –a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.
When the animals take over the farm it is supposed to be so that all the animals would be equal and no longer under the “authority” of man. But on the farm, as in the real world, the ideal of equality ends as soon as the elite gain power and use their “superiority” to manipulate and control the others.
So, what does that have to do with today’s chapter in 1 Corinthians?
Paul began 1 Corinthians 12 with these words:
Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this.1 Corinthians 12:1
Paul then added that God, Himself, gives each and every believer gifts to be used for the benefit of all. And that each and every gift is to be equally valued as essential.
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.1 Corinthians 12:4:7
Some Corinthians were boasting that their gifts were superior and therefore gave them greater authority . . . and it was tearing the church apart.
So, Paul wrote:
Our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”1 Corinthians 12:18–22
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
Every person in the church is gifted precisely as God determines . . . and each person and gift is equal, essential, and valued.
All the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.1 Corinthians 12:25b–27
I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds like a great way for us to live in community . . . both in the church and in society at large.
A Prayer Asking God to Help You Celebrate
that All People and Gifts are Equal
Father, You are the Creator of all and the Giver of all good gifts. You have made us all with beautiful shades of skin tones. You have made us to be teachers and farmers, pastors and electricians, plumbers and doctors, builders, artists, and the list goes on and on. You have given us gifts of knowledge and wisdom, understanding and healing. You made some to be prophets and helpers and encouragers. You have given us mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual gifts . . . none greater than another but all precious and important to serve and build Your Kingdom.
When we celebrate the equal gifts You give, we celebrate You. Please forgive us. You see us all as precious and dearly loved . . . we are the ones who label and list. We are the ones who consider some more important than others. Please help us love. Help us lift up. Help us use our gifts in ways that celebrate and serve each other in ways that give You glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Can you imagine how we would all be blessed if we stopped comparing ourselves to each other and focused on Jesus? Can you imagine if we chose to celebrate our differences and love like Jesus? Can you imagine if we saw every person as someone who is dearly loved and precious to Jesus?
God created us for His plans and purposes – each individual is loved and someone for whom He gave His life. And He wants us to love and serve each other. He wants us to love like Jesus.
On today’s note write:
By God’s grace, all people are loved and all gifts are equal.
May God bless you and help you celebrate the equality of His gift of grace today.
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