"use whatever gift you have"
1 Peter 4:10
My "Word of the Day" the other day, was a word that got me thinking. Generally, if it's a word that's new to me, I just give it a glance and move on. Sometimes I think about whether or not I can work it into my vocabulary, but I think by this point, if it's not already in my vocabulary, it's probably not going to settle there. Maybe, but probably not....
So really, the words that are more interesting to me are the ones that I already know, but that have a definition I wasn't aware of, or have an interesting origin. In this case, it was the definition. The word was "discriminate". I thought I knew what this word meant. To my way of thinking, it's a pretty negative word, too. When I was in college, my major was US History, and my emphasis was the Civil War and Civil Rights, so I came across the word "discrimination" a lot, and it was never good.
I know the word "discriminate" sometimes comes up in regards to gourmet food, such as: "he has a discriminating palate." But I don't think that usage is as common, so the word hangs on to its negative connotation.
But would you believe that negative definition is not the primary one? It's not even the secondary one. The primary definition is so beautiful ~ "to see the special features of". Isn't that wonderful? It means to notice what's special about someone! That's such a great thing for us to do, to notice what's special about the people around us. And that made me think of Jesus. Who else but God knows us so well as to notice all our special features? Who else but He appreciates the details that define each one of us? He knows our gifts and our flaws, our strengths and our weaknesses. Heck, the very hairs of your head are numbered!
So what makes you, you? What does He know ~ and love ~ about you, that no one else knows? And how can you use it for His glory? And I'm not just talking about the fact that you're good at singing, or you're a great artist, or a gifted athlete. I'm talking about your compassion, your thoughtfulness, your peacemaking.... your joy, your understanding, your gift for listening... your generosity, your perseverance, your cleverness, your creativity.
Our Lord is discriminating. He sees you differently ~ better ~ than anyone else does. And He likes what He sees.
~ "present your body,
a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service" ~