Diversity of Spiritual Gifts

You may remember a few years ago when Snoopy, the lovable beagle in the Peanuts cartoon, had his left leg broken. Hundreds wrote letters to Snoopy or sent sympathy cards. Snoopy himself philosophized about his plight one day while perched on top of his doghouse and looking at … More

Diversity

In verses 1-11, Paul talked about Holy Spirit’s role in empowering believers with various spiritual gifts. There are a variety of gifts, but it’s the same God who does all the giving (vv. 4-6). Each gift is given for the common good of all (v. 7), so if your supposed “gift” is only benefiting you, you might want to reexamine your giftedness. The Holy Spirit gives his gifts on a person-by-person basis, not randomly, but intentionally “as he wills” (v. 11). Your spiritual gifts were handpicked for you by the all-knowing, all-loving Spirit of God. The human body contains 78 different organs, each vastly different in appearance and function and yet each necessary for the life and health of the body. And it is the same with the body of Christ (v. 12). The church is made up of people from all walks of life with differing ethnicities and social statuses (v. 13), and yet there is only one Spirit that unites us all. Each member needs the other members, and no member can afford to become independent.

In the body there is a diversity of gifts. There is a tendency among Christians for some people to magnify the “sensational” gifts. It is this attitude that Paul is opposed to and is addressing in this passage. There is no one gift that all Christians must possess to be true followers of Christ (vv. 14-16). Apparently, some were questioning this, focusing on what they were not, rather than focusing on what they were. In the illustration, the “foot” looks at the “hand” and thinks “I’m not a hand, therefore I do not belong to the body.” We’ve all been in a situation where we felt like we didn’t measure up to those around us. Paul is assuring us that each has a vital role to play in the body of Christ. We might question our value, buy God never questions our value to Him.

Application

I must never look down on those who seem unimportant, and I must not be jealous of others who have impressive gifts. Instead, I should use the gifts I have and encourage others to use theirs.

I Corinthians 12:12-20 (English Standard Version)


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