Whether it’s a project at work or raising kids, we can be quick to look from side to side and decide that everyone else around us is more gifted than we are. The comparison game is one of the most dangerous tools of the Enemy, and we too easily believe the lies to be true. Are other people better at some things than we are? Absolutely. God gifted us uniquely. But what happens when we each recognize our gifts and celebrate them rather than compare?
We Are All Uniquely Gifted
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
"they're gifted, not me"
a supernatural giver
The Holy Spirit gives gifts to all Christians, regardless of background, natural talents, piety, education, age, gender, or race. If you are a Christian, you have at least one spiritual gift.
While we can cultivate our spiritual gifts or choose to use them or deny them, they don’t originate from our own power or accomplishments. We don’t get to choose our spiritual gifts. God gives them to us, and we offer them back to God in big and small ways, beautiful and ugly spaces, quiet and harrowing situations. This is our true generosity: A quiet pastor teaching with bold authority and eloquence, a shy teenager using a gift of evangelism to tell everyone she comes in contact with about Jesus.
Because these gifts originate in the Spirit, their results don’t depend on us but on the Spirit alone. This frees us to serve without concern for the outcome. God’s got this. Paul calls spiritual gifts a “manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:7), an outworking of the presence of the Spirit. This is his symphony, composed, orchestrated, and conducted by him. We participate with different spiritual gifts and in different ministries, vocational and volunteer, but the same Spirit gives, guides, and empowers them all.
the important gifts
The Corinthians were looking for certain spiritual gifts, similar to what they had participated in at pagan temples before they became Christians. They thought these gifts would prove their spirituality and importance to God and to the church. They were a hot mess. Paul counters that because all gifts are from the Spirit and all are dependent on the Spirit, all are important and needed. God doesn’t make lesser or greater gifts, and none prove the spirituality or importance of the believer. All gifts are honorable, worthy, and necessary. Even the Greek term charismata stresses the nature of the gift: unmerited gifts of God’s grace. It leaves no room for boasting. Neither does it leave room to shrink away. It’s not about what you think you can or can’t do. It’s about what the Spirit absolutely does. God makes our generosity possible because he gives and empowers the spiritual gifts. We offer nothing in and of ourselves. We offer only ourselves.
Watch Session Two
Being Generous With Our Spiritual Gifts
Has there been a time when you’ve shied away from using your spiritual gift out of doubts? Has there been a time when you thought you failed because the outcome wasn’t what you thought it would be? How does knowing that the Holy Spirit gives the gifts, empowers them, and uses them change how you feel about your gifts?
at work and when i was in grad school all the time. I rarely feel smart, knowledgeable, or worthy of talking or sharing my ideas even though I am a teacher at heart, gifted by God. I’ve never really thought of this issue in terms of not using my gifts… Definitely something to bring before the Lord.
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