We Need to Do What We’re Anointed to Do
Love others with your gifts
1 Cor 14:12
There’s a goal in being filled with the God’s Spirit and seeing him manifest through the various gifts he distributes: building up the Church. The Church is Christ’s Body — his working out his life in the earth. It’s a body in harmony with its various members (or should be).
My burden in writing this article comes from seeing that in certain circles, even within the local church gathering, that diversity is met with distrust and unhelpful singularity. In order to flourish as envisioned in Scripture, we need to build one another up with what we’re individually blessed to do — that means allowing each other to be different.
The Church in Corinth at the time of Paul’s writing exercised many gifts, but one in particular was desired more than the rest: tongues. Now, it should go without saying that this is a gift of the Spirit and therefore desirable. But many people today, like Corinth, use this gift in abusive ways, even leading some believers to feel less important or powerful. So what was Paul’s answer? Interdependence.
The gifts of the Spirit are likened to the members of the Church, which are likened to physical body parts. The argument follows in 1 Cor 12:12-20. Simple metaphor. Profound implications. Many believers in Christ look different, sound different, behave different — but each is necessary to display the beauty of the whole. United we are knit together in the same way the whole body is nourished from drinking water, so we were all made to dring of one Spirit. Our essence is derived from One. We’re equal in this body.
But there’s a sense of not measuring up that’s replaced this sense of unity, because some don’t have or do what seems most desirable at a given time or place. So the thoughts that linger become “I must not be important, powerful or even saved.”
This just isn’t true. Indeed, the eye has a function to see, but don’t the feet move you towards what’s seen? If you only had eyes, how would you hear? If you aren’t uniquely you, I’m lacking in my experience, because you were made to reflect the glory of God.
The litmus test of genuine Christianity isn’t that we all speak in tongues or teach or perform miracles, but that we call on the name of Lord Jesus, knowing he alone saves. You don’t need to function like me, no more than me like you, except that we serve one another, working together like a body does.
Remember, God is sovereign. He has given you your gifts, because it pleases him. Those gifts are God-honoring and Christ-exalting wonders. It’s very damaging to tell others they need to share the exact same experiences or gifts to confirm their calling to God. You may be a hand; someone else a foot. But they both serve in moving by the direction of the head, don’t they? And our head is Jesus Christ.