A devotional about valuing your strengths
The United Kingdom’s Imperial State Crown is worn by the sovereign only once a year – at the opening of Britain’s Parliament – and very occasionally as part of the coronation of a new British monarch.
It is adorned with several legendary jewels, including the Black Prince’s Ruby, weighing 170 carats and set on the front cross … the famous Cullinan II diamond (317.4 carats), cut from the largest gem-quality diamond ever found and set on the front of the crown band … and the 104-carat Stuart Sapphire, set at the back of the crown.
In addition, the crown also includes 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies – each unique.
When asked about its monetary worth, experts say the Imperial State Crown is priceless in both the value of its individual components and in the whole.
Individually each element in the crown is a unique and valuable treasure, specially chosen to be a part of this matchless work of art. Each of God’s people, too, is unique, crafted by our Father with special strengths and placed carefully in His body. That’s the very assertion Paul makes in this rhetorical question: “If they were all the same, where would the body be?” (1 Corinthians 12:19, NIV).
Further, each of us is part of something which multiplies the value of our strengths: the body of Christ.
The 3,000+ gems in the crown are distinguished from others of the same type because they are part of something bigger than themselves. For instance, of the tens of thousands of pearls in the world, just these 273 of them are in the crown. Being a part of The Crown Jewels multiplies their notoriety.
Likewise, when you use your strengths combined with others in the body of Christ, your abilities become identified with Jesus. Your strengths are valuable in themselves, but also are a part of something much bigger … and long-lasting.
An Irreplaceable Combination
An irreplaceable masterpiece, if the Imperial State Crown is stolen the components can never be sold on the open market as is. Each element is so well-known that experts would recognize it. The stones and the gold would need to be altered in order to be sold individually. In doing so, each would still be valuable, but their combined worth would diminish considerably.
Just as combined together the jewels make a unique treasure, so do God’s people when placed together to use their strengths. The combination does not diminish your individual worth. Rather, because each person’s strengths are unique, the resulting combination can never be replicated. That is why using your strengths presents an irreplaceable opportunity.
Jewels: Don’t Go Missing
The Imperial State Crown is worn rarely, and then only by Britain’s monarch. Otherwise, the Crown resides in the Tower of London where it can be viewed and admired by the public … but not used. It is untouchable.
Here is where the strengths of God’s people are different. Although priceless, the body of Christ is accessible. The strengths of God’s people are not meant to be squirreled away and brought out only occasionally to be admired, but rather used. God places His body in circulation every day in homes, communities, and the workplace – to work transformation in lives, strengthen hearts, and build His Kingdom.
Consider the ensuing catastrophe if one jewel was missing from the Imperial State Crown. The masterpiece would be incomplete.
In your journey as a Christ-follower, it can be tempting to gloss over or minimize your strengths, rather than embrace them and live them out. In doing so, you render God’s masterpiece – His body – incomplete. One part is missing.
Don’t go missing.
Be the jewel you were designed to be … in the setting where God has placed you to maximize your strengths. Be a part of a treasure that is used for something greater than yourself.
PRICELESS: THE GEMSTONE DEVOTIONAL SERIES
Devotional: Valuing Strengths – How to Cut a Diamond
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