Christ, as the head of the church, connects us all through a divine bond, with each of us performing a crucial role, much like musicians in an orchestra. Yet, despite many discussions around spiritual gifts—the unique talents bestowed by God to enable us to serve effectively—many among us are yet to fully comprehend and harness these divine endowments.
Our spiritual gifts are tailored for each of us by God, designed to serve not only our own good but also the collective benefit of the church. God’s vision for us all is not merely to have work done, but to draw us closer to Him through service. He equips us with everything we need; our part is to discover these spiritual gifts and then develop and exercise them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In the quest to discover our spiritual gifts, Apostle Paul provides a beacon of clarity, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware” (1 Corinthians 12:1). God doesn’t shroud our abilities in mystery; He wants us to identify and utilize them. Scripture outlines an array of these gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11-12). To uncover our own, we need to pay attention to our reactions to various situations or needs. What drives us? Instead of focusing on what we should be doing, we should discern our personal motivations. Passion for studying and sharing the Word might suggest a gift of teaching. A propensity for compassion and service could point toward a gift of mercy.
Once we’ve found our spiritual gifts, it’s crucial to nurture them. While these divine talents are gifted at the moment of salvation, they aren’t immediately mature. Like budding musicians needing practice and instruction, we need to exercise our gifts. Remember, these abilities are divine, not natural; hence, they require the empowering hand of the Spirit to flourish. Efforts powered by self alone lead to strain and unfruitfulness. However, when we walk in the Spirit, yielding to His guidance, our endeavors thrive.
Exercising our spiritual gifts necessitates an intimate walk with Christ. It’s not about doing but abiding in Him. We should be open to God, allowing Him to work His will through us. Once our gifts have been nurtured, it’s time to employ them for the good of all. As Peter advises, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Regardless of how insignificant we think our gifts are, God encourages us to serve.
However, the effectiveness of our gifts hinges on one essential element – love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Without love, our gifts are fruitless. Yet, we shouldn’t be daunted by this high standard. Just as spiritual gifts are divinely powered, so is the love that fuels them. When we walk in the Spirit, Jesus lives His life through us.
After Christ ascended to the Father, He entrusted the task of continuing His work on Earth to the church. For this divine mission, He provided an array of spiritual gifts to His followers. Christ is the head, connecting us all as a body that grows and builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:15-16). We not only need to find, nurture, and utilize our own gifts, but also value those of others (1 Corinthians 12:18-21). Like a symphony orchestra, we need each other to create a harmonious melody. Each of us has a role to play in the church, so let’s be good stewards of our gifts, empowered by the Spirit, so that one day we may hear our Lord’s praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NIV).