Gifts

 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.
I Corinthians 12:4-7

 

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD for short)—that was the name given to the Cold War philosophy whereby the United States and the Soviet Union (and other nuclear players) acquired so many weapons, that for one to start a conflict, it would end in the complete destruction of both sides. While this perhaps helped us to avoid a nuclear conflict, it did not ensure peace. True peace can only be secured by dependence on God, and His plan for Mutually Assured Dependence upon one another. Yes, in this turbulent world, that is a very hard “ask”.

Mutually Assured Dependence takes a lot of trust. We as prideful people have a hard time with this concept, so that is probably the exact reason that God made this the plan for us to live by. The church- the world- is comprised of people who have “gifts differing.” Different does not mean better, or more important—just different. I found it interesting that Paul said in verse 24 of chapter 12 of I Corinthians that “God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” 

We are so used to differentiating the importance of roles in organizations, including the church. Part of our self-esteem seems to be based on how significantly we impact any organization of which we are a part. Sports leagues are always determining the “Most Valuable Player,” etc. We enjoy these discussions, and they can be fun. However, as we discuss the parts of the Body of Christ, we cannot get into an MVP discussion. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.

The simple solution to this (simple, not easy) is to just celebrate the gifts we see in other people, as well as in ourselves, thank God for giving it to us, and resist rating whether one gift exceeds another. Indeed, gifts are probably like an iceberg. What we see on the surface is only a small part of the impact the gift has for eternity, or how many people have been impacted by it. Let’s recognize our Mutually Assured Dependence upon one another, and thank God for a plan that we could never have imagined on our own.

I saw on the news last evening an interview with a man whose job was to insert the tiniest screw into a ventilator which ensured a perfect, air-tight seal. He said, “I just see myself like this tiny screw in relation to the whole assembly. It is a small part, but all the parts are essential.” This comment was from a man working at a GM plant in Michigan that now makes ventilators.  I like that guy.

Especially in this time of health crisis, we see the beautiful healing arts gifts that God has given to our health care professionals. I wish that I had those gifts, yet I know that in this time of crisis we are being called upon to exercise the gifts we have for the benefit of all society. Indeed, reflect upon the specific gifts God has given to you. How can you use those gifts in a special way for the benefit of others now?

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the gifts that you have given to me and my brothers and sisters. I am constantly amazed at how you work, and that you always work for our good. Help us to see your hand in each of us, Amen.

 

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