…they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. (Galatians 2:7-8)
Have you ever wished you had someone else’s gifts? When I look at my gifts and see how different they are than others, I am tempted to envy the gifts of others. This feeling often leaves me blind to the important gifts God has given me.
God made each of us differently and has equipped us with diverse gifts. God called both Paul and Peter to preach the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, to those who had not heard it. Their mission was the same, but their ministry was different. Paul preached to the Gentiles, while Peter was called to the Jews. Paul spoke to those who grew up under the sway of paganism, while Peter spoke to those well-versed and observant in Old Testament Law. Both of these tasks were good, and God used both of them in where he placed them.
Their ministry was different, but their mission was the same. Both Paul and Peter were stretched and changed by God’s calling upon their life. Their work was not always comfortable. Recognizing God’s call was not taking the easy path, but the harder and more faithful one. Paul spent most of his ministry courting controversy for preaching the gospel, while Peter did the same. Both men, tradition tells us, ended up in Rome and died for the sake of Christ. These unique men with diverse gifts followed the same Lord with the same mission.
We are all given different gifts by God. We are also all called to different vocations. Even for those of us who share the same work, we, like Peter and Paul, may do that gospel work in significantly different context. Paul recognized that God had given him gifts for preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, while Peter was given gifts to preach to the Jewish unbelievers. Both are very valuable and needed, but they’re different. This stood out to me, as I am often tempted to see the gifts of others and wish that I had those, rather than seeing the gifts that God has given me. This was a reminder to me that I need to see what gifts God has given to me, and use those gifts where He has placed me.