Seeds For Thinking
Archives Index
Illustrated Index
Please Share

Scripture: Paul wrote, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.“  Romans 12:6  NIV

Consider the honeybee. Thousands of identical bees in a colony. Do all gather nectar from the flowers in the field? No. At any given time, the bees take different tasks. While many do indeed flit from flower to flower, and return by a ‘bee line flight’ to the hive, they will be met at the entrance by guard bees. These bees are the front lines of defense for the hive, ready to intercept the intruder. Inside the nest, they will find nurse bees, feeding and looking after the developing bees-to-be. As they go to the comb to deposit their load of nectar, they will pass clusters of young bees processing honey into beeswax, and building new comb. Some bees will come over and help pack the load of pollen brought in by the field bees into cells in the comb. Pollen is their main source of protein; without pollen, bees in the larval (baby bee) stage would soon die.
    Part of the work force makes certain that the hive is spotless. Their motto: “If you can move it, out it goes! Can’t move it? Bury it under bee glue (propolis.) They seal up any holes or cracks other than the main entrance as well.       
    Still others become part of the hive air conditioning system, fanning their wings to ventilate the hive, and evaporating the moisture from the nectar so it will become honey. On really hot summer days, bees will go out and gather water to help cool the hive.
     And what about the queen bee? Does she lolly around, and say, “You! Over there. See that speck of dirt? Out with it!”?  No way! The queen is not the boss. She eats, and lays eggs, eats and lays eggs. All day, all summer. And she is the only one in the hive who can do that. A true individual.
    An equitable division of labor. If it needs to be done, they just “Do it!”
    I have never seen bees argue over who is to do what.
    While we wouldn’t want to live a bee’s life, there are some lessons worth learning there. After all, God did a pretty good job with them, don’t you think?
    Both Jesus and Paul pointed out that we are to each fill our individual role in the church or community. We are to be a complement to the whole. Writing to the Romans, Paul urged them to bring to the church the gift that God, through grace, has given each person.  Do not envy other’s gifts; do not “think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”  (12:3).
        January 6, 2002

Return to Index

Go to Welcome Menu

Seeds For Thinking
Title and Logo  © Copyright 1996 by Leland Hubbell
Seeds Logo