1 Corinthians 12:1-11
12 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 2 You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. 3 So I want you to know that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.” 4 There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. 6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people. 7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
I’ve had some refreshing moments in supermarkets over the years. I often move through them with purpose and speed, scanning shelves and comparing prices, filling up the trolley with food for the next week. On some occasions, however, my pace is slowed down by seeing someone unable to reach a tin on a shelf, someone whom I can help simply because I am taller or younger. There is something so satisfying about putting the tin in their hands and knowing I’ve saved them a little bit of trouble, it’s a brief but special exchange. Or on the flipside when I’m the one who’s dropped something and somebody stops to pick it up for me.
This interdependence isn’t always convenient, but it’s rich to give and receive. That’s what I see in this passage. God set things up so that we don’t have every spiritual gift ourselves, He didn’t download into us a complete package so that we can function independently. God gave us all different gifts, different kinds of work and different service for the common good. It’s only in the context of community that I can express the gifts God has given me as He designed them to be expressed. In this same community I am blessed when other people express their spiritual gifts, I receive something from God through His people.
Lord, help me to walk in this reality, help me carry this sense of vision into every church service, every Connect Group gathering, every time I have coffee with a believer, every phone call… Thank you God for what I have received from others faithfully serving you, enable me by your grace to give you away to those around me. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh