“There Are Thirty-Two!” (1 Peter 4:10)

Very nice, a tray of succulents, perfect for my garden! 

I was at the local home and garden store and was waiting in line to pay for my latest addition. The succulents were smaller than my fist and were arranged in rows in a plastic tray. I quickly counted the vertical and horizontal rows-eight by four, thirty two plants. The sales associate scanned the barcode on one of the plants then proceeded to do exactly what I did, add up the numbers of rows. However, the process abruptly stopped. Instead of entering the number of plants into the cash register and ringing up the total, a perturbed look came across the salesperson’s face. A second later, a calculator was pulled out and I saw the number eight being entered.

“Oh, there are thirty-two plants!” I blurted out. 

The sales associate quickly put the calculator down and said, “Oh thanks!”

Unfortunately, my thoughtless remark embarrassed the associate. I did not know anything about this person nor was it my business. The calculator was a necessary tool to help complete the task. Simply because I could calculate this multiplication in my head did not make me better or smarter than this sales associate. I know some people who can multiply and divide by ten places in their head, not me! In fact, there are many areas in life where I need all the help I can get.

This yawning deficit is laid bare in my spiritual life. I have met many great saints who have so much of the Bible memorized that they can instantly recall an appropriate verse for any situation. While I have memorized a few verses, I rely upon an internet search or a word search on one of my Bible apps. I have become complacent and allowed my memorization skills to atrophy because I rely upon these technologies. I am reminded of the many Christians living in oppressive and restrictive societies who are persecuted for their faith. They fervently memorize any Bible verse they are able to obtain since to even own a Bible may be punishable by death. They welcome any assistance to help them learn more about God. 

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)

Instead of following God’s command, once again, my pride hindered my witness of Jesus Christ to others. We are all born with skills of varying levels. These are gifts from God. We should embrace these different gifts and use our skills to uplift others who are lacking. 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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