A Brownie Knife
Sylvia Basham, She Speaks! Graduate

"But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose." 1 Corinthians 12:18 (ESV)

Oddly enough, I'm thinking about plastic knives today. You know, the kind you get with your to-go meal at restaurants, packaged with a plastic fork, spoon, and napkin?

For years I ditched the plastic knife, thinking they are a waste of energy and not very useful at cutting my food. Steak, chicken, pot roast …metal knives slice right through these, but not plastic knives. Hard foods are not their forte. Where plastic knives do excel, however, is in cutting fresh from the oven, piping hot brownies!

Have you ever cut brownies with a table knife and made a ragged mess out of them? Well, I've discovered a way to enjoy them, and keep them in tact, while they're still warm. I've used this trick successfully for years, as my hips will attest. Nice squares of warm, gooey chocolate goodness with smooth edges can be yours when cut with a plastic knife.

Knowing plastic knives' special knack for cutting brownies, I use them specifically for that purpose. I don't try to cut cardboard, steak or wood with them. That would be a senseless misuse of their gifts.

Oh, but how often have I misused my gifts or stepped away from my natural talents, attempting something I am not really cut out to do? This usually leads to frustration and a mess.

The point is this: God designed each one of us with certain abilities, but we tend to look at the abilities of the other women and we get caught in the comparison trap. We try to emulate her gifts and her talents when God has called us to something totally different.

Some of my friends have better culinary skills. Some of my friends train their children better than I. Some of my friends are well organized. Some of my friends...well, it really doesn't matter. What does matter is this: What am I going to do with what I am?

Paul puts it this way in I Corinthians 12.17-19: "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?" (ESV)

In what way has God gifted you? Have you yet to use that talent for His glory? Are you a wonderful hostess? Then don't compare yourself to the woman who is a teacher. Are you an organizer? Then don't compare yourself to the woman who is creative. Are you great with children? Then don't compare yourself to the woman who writes the newsletter.

After many years of anguish over my place in this world, or in my church, or in a women's group, I've come to embrace that which God has blessed me with. And I've decided I love being a plastic brownie knife!

Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and talents You've given each of us. Please show us where we are most useful for Your kingdom and Your purposes. Give us boldness to carry out Your will especially when it might be an unexpected task. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
She Speaks Conference

Youniquely Woman: Becoming Who God Designed You To Be by Kay Arthur, Emilie Barnes and Donna Otto

Shaped with Purpose CD and companion Workbook by Renee Swope

The Confident Woman by Anabel Gillham

Application Steps:
Pray and ask God to reveal your gifts and passions which can best be used to further His kingdom. Embrace and excel in your uniqueness. Be available when opportunities arise for which your talents are best suited.

Are you grateful for your gifts or do you dismiss them as useless?

Are you second-guessing God and making comparisons with the talents of others?

Will you choose to love who God created you to be?

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 9:8, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (NIV)

Matthew 25:22-23, "The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" (NIV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second guessing and comparisons, yes, I do it all the time. This is a great reminder to be the person God made ME. Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great message for today. Something we all as women need to be reminded of. BTW, I thought I was the only one who knew plastic knives cut warm brownies!!!LOL

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent this to several of my friends, with whom I often compare myself. Comparisons make me feel inadequate and resentful. I know it's wrong and puts up walls for me, and I also realize that I'm then not being grateful to God, who made me the way I am, with the gifts I possess! Thanks for the reminders. I'll never look at a plastic knife in the same light, again!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often have feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure that I won't measure up to my sister's in Christ at church. I never truly understood why until reading this, that I was comparing myself and talents to theirs. Thank you so much for reminding me to be thankful for my talents!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it we always compare our weakness to someone else's strengths? Thank you Lord for my strengths. Help me to be grateful for each of them.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this lesson today. Thanks for sharing and posting these wonderful devotions. :o)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much! I am in collede and i have been struggling with roomate issues. I think that we so often try to outdo each other. She is an elementary ed major, and I am in Public Relations and Art. We both try to overcompensate instead of recognize thatnwe are two totally different..;both fearfully and wonderfully made. Be blessed!

Wow, how timely!!! What a fresh perspective an a very OLD issue!!!
Thank you for being obedient and sharing!!!

Pamela in TX

Great post. I often feel inadequate in areas of my life and compare myself to others and I really need to stop. Thanks for the tip with brownies, I never would have thought of that. I always make an absolute mess trying to cut them.

Blogger NC Nana said...

This devotional is a reminder that God is involved in even the smallest and most mundane issues in our lives. My story: I am cooking brownies for the Daisy Day conference. I have cooked my special version for years because it is my husband's weakness. My only concern is that they crumble terribly. I was so concerned that I have asked several friends how to prevent that for the conference because I realize "presentation" is everything. Anyway, here is my answer and it is so simple! Please know that I also hear the bigger message in this too. But, little did Sylvia know that, as she was preparing this devotional, she was also being used of God by resolving a challenge for me in His perfect timing! Have a blessed day! Ann

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