"WHOSE SHOE DO YOU WEAR?, A Christian Contemplation"

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You Are Custom Designed

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

Heads bowed, eyes closed, a few of us sat in a circle praying for the needs of the church. Head still bowed down, I opened my eyes, only to glance at the pairs of feet before me. What a variety of shoes! Shiny black ones, casual loafers, smooth textured ones, rugged sandals with open toes, sandals with red-painted toe nails, black stockinged feet in black sandals, laced brown oxfords, all belonging to believers come together in one accord, seeking the presence of their one God.

What was God showing us? The shoes only represented how different each one of us is in appearance, yet we gathered as one—in the unity of the Body of Christ to pray in one Spirit. Jesus was pointing out He needs each one of us, each one gifted with the Holy Spirit to do the work of ministry as one body.

The apostle Paul was emphasizing this very same thing to the church at Corinth. After chastising the Corinthian believers to put away carnal things of the self, he explained how they were to use their diversity of charismata in one Spirit for the benefit of all.

    “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all." (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

From there, Paul begins to name the diversities of gifts. “…manifestations of the Spirit…given to each one for the profit of all…” (1 Corinthians 12:7) After identifying the charisms, Paul stresses the importance of how each member of the body is needed. Each gifting, no matter how small, is important to the working of the whole body.

    “For in fact the body is not one member but many…. But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body…But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:14-25)

No matter who we are or what we wear, what shoes we walk in, though we are not the same in appearance or personality, God can use each one who is surrendered to Him. And because we are different one from another, God has us using our giftings to fill in where they are most needed to complete the Body of Christ.

The shoes we wear are not the same, nor do we even fit into another’s shoe. But together, complementing one another, we come together, as the Body of Christ, “…made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13), complete in Him!

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© Constance Vanides