1 Corinthians 12:1-11
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
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 Ps. Beth Waugh