There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NIV)
The gifts that God gives us are not for our individual benefit only. God equips his church so that as a whole it is complete and able to meet the demands placed upon it.
What this means is that there is no need to look at someone’s gift either with envy or disdain. There is no pecking order in terms of gifting. It is the Spirit who decides what gift someone should have, not to make them feel proud, but to meet the needs of others within the body of Christ.
It is also important to say that a church where all exercise the same gift seems to have missed the point. We should be encouraging members of the church to ask God, not for specific gifts, but for each member to have the gift God wants them to use. Of course some gifts seem more attractive than others, but only from our human perspective. From God’s perspective they are all needed to ensure that the church is equipped for its task of spreading the gospel.
In the verses quoted above from 1 Corinthians 12 we are told that there are:
- different kinds of gifts;
- different kinds of service;
- different kinds of working.
Whatever the gift that God has given you, it is your duty to use it for the benefit of the body of Christ; for the common good. Pray for the courage to use your gift(s) constructively to meet the needs of others around you.
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