A Simple Approach to Spiritual Gifts

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

A friend sent me this explanation of spiritual gifts. I did not write it, nor do I know where it originated, but I think it sheds light on both how we are different and how we need each other.

First, let me set the stage. A church planned to serve cookies during an intermission each week. However, the children of the church would eat up all the cookies before church even got started.

How would you react to the children? That may depend on your spiritual giftedness.

For example, those with . . .

  • The gift of prophecy – known for speaking the truth – might say, “Children, don’t eat all the cookies. Other people are hungry, too.”
  • The gift of mercy – known for graciousness – might say, “Leave the children alone. Let kids be kids.”
  • The gift of knowledge might acknowledge, “Kids will be kids.”
  • The gift of wisdom might advise, “Kids should be kids.”
  • The gift of love might say, “Look at those precious children! My, aren’t they delightful?”
  • The gift of joy might exclaim, “Look at how happy those children are!”
  • The gift of fellowship – known for sharing time with others – might say, “Children, come over here. Let’s eat together.”
  • The gift of hospitality – known for sharing homes with others – might say, “Children, come to my house to eat.”
  • The gift of teaching – using everyday events as teaching examples – might say, “Children, let’s discuss this situation and see what we can learn from it.”
  • The gift of exhortation – giving correction and guidance – might say, “Children, you know there is a better way – a giving way.”

How would you handle the situation in the future? That, too, might depend on your giftedness.

For example, those with…

  • The gift of intercession might offer a prayer over the children, the cookies and the congregation.
  • The gift of administration might set up practical procedures for how the cookies can best be distributed.
  • The gift of leadership might direct the cookie distribution.
  • The gift of service might personally serve the cookies.
  • The gift of giving might buy more cookies to give away.
  • The gift of faith might say, “The Lord will provide.”
  • The gift of evangelism might say, “Look at God’s providence for His children. Salvation rests in Him.”
  • The gift of music would worship the Creator in all things.

As we continue to find our place in the story by identifying and using our gifts, let’s remember to appreciate the giftedness of others.

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