A devotional about valuing strengths
In 1 Corinthians 12:18, Paul writes, “God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased” (1 Corinthians 12:18, NKJV). He explains that God has purposely placed each of us in specific settings to use our strengths.
The word “set” used in this passage is a jeweler’s term. It refers to the method in which a gemstone is attached to a piece of jewelry in order to optimize its features. In the same way God intentionally places us in settings to maximize our strengths and allow us to be completed by others around us.
By studying how a jeweler sets a stone in a piece of jewelry, we can better understand how God sets us in relationships to reflect His strengths.
Three Goals in Getting the Setting Right
A jeweler has three goals when setting a stone.
Goal #1: Maximize its strengths. A jeweler carefully studies a gemstone to choose the setting that makes the most of its assets. By positioning the stone in optimal lighting, the jeweler can enhance the stone’s characteristics to reflect its beauty at various angles.
Just as a gemstone has its own uniqueness, God has crafted you with unique strengths. He carefully sets you in environments where you can use those strengths to their best advantage for the Kingdom.
Goal #2: Minimize its imperfections. Perhaps a gemstone has a blemish on one side … a facet has been poorly cut … a stone is not the ideal shape. The jeweler arranges the setting to allow the stone’s strengths to take the spotlight, while protecting its limitations. The setting helps to compensate for any parts of the stone that might reduce its value.
In the same way, God deliberately places each of us where others’ strengths compensate for our limitations. That’s why in many cases our spouse, family members, and work colleagues have strengths that are different than ours. Differences working together strengthen the whole.
Goal #3: Protect God’s gifts. A good setting secures the gemstone firmly so there is no danger of loss and protects it from scratches, normal wear, or from a sudden blow. A secure setting also protects the gemstone from hurting other objects around it, like scratching or nicking skin or fabric.
The jeweler has been entrusted with protecting the gemstone; you are entrusted with protecting strengths. You can use your strengths safely and wisely to build up others, rather than tear them down. At the same time, you can protect others’ strengths by placing a high value on their God-given abilities, with the understanding that God makes each of us different in order to complete us.
God has intentionally placed you in settings where He wants you to use your strengths. When you guard the strengths entrusted to you and place a high value on others’ strengths, you do your part in protecting God’s precious gifting in those around you.
Priceless: The Gemstone Devotional Series
Devotional: Valuing Strengths – Don’t Be a Missing Jewel
Devotional: Valuing Strengths – How to Cut a Diamond
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