More Than A Canteloupe…
Many, MANY, years ago I was involved in a women's group at my church. On one occasion I was asked to help prepare a meal for a small event this group was hosting. Each lady had something she was to bring and then someone specific was preparing all the chicken for the entrees. I was asked, in addition to several other ladies, to bring two peeled and sliced cantaloupe melons. I agreed, and as I sliced I was very careful to sure to do it right.
I had been raised with great particularity about how things were to be done-so I was maybe a little nervous as to please the ladies who had called on me for help. I was too nervous. I had never stepped out and joined a group like this, so even though it wasn't much, to me it was a big step of faith in stepping out.
I went to the event where we prepared and served each plate. Low and behold the woman in charge grew critical of how I had sliced my fruit. So, they "fixed" it. I felt awful. Once again I seemed to fall short of people's expectations of me and how I did things. I was young and didn't yet know who I was in Christ. I had no confidence in my own ability...even melon slicing. I even heard gossip about it the very next day. I felt even worse.
Fast forward: what I know now, but didn't know then, was there was nothing wrong with how I had sliced that melon. In fact, I had brought a more generous contribution and this was the real issue. My melon was larger and there was more of it. The other melons were very small and yielded very little fruit. So there wasn't enough for the luncheon we were serving. So instead of just saying, "Hey, these over here are big, let's just cut them and thank goodness it will be enough"
--the ladies allowed their own insecure thoughts and feelings to take over and chose to point a finger instead. See how sneaky the Enemy of our soul is? He will prey on individual insecurities and put them against each other to cause division.
Criticism cuts people down just like that melon. I had forgotten all about this story. The Lord brought it to my attention this a.m., asking me to write about it. I write about it to encourage you.
Our life is meant to produce fruit. The Bible says we will know a tree by its fruit, and it's ok to inspect the purity of fruit, but God doesn't want us to criticize the fruit of others lives or even compare the quality or quantity of our fruit to others. We each have a Divine Contribution to make. When I purchased those cantaloupe melons I noticed they were large. This is all the selection offered. It was the provision I was given, so that's what I brought.
God has provided you with a specific capacity and ability, gifts, talents and virtues that are specifically designed, created and provided for you. No one else can bear fruit like you! It will have its own unique content, flavor, sweetness, vibrancy and color. It will be as unique as you! Let's be careful to not compare fruit. I think this is a good reminder for all of us. Instead, together we can make a bountiful fruit salad! Get in the mix! -Nicole
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."