January 18

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” vs. 7

Paul believed that in Christ every congregation would thrive as individuals were given opportunity to use their spiritual gifts. He had experienced the differences that exist among disciples and knew that no one person is exactly like another. Each had been gifted in a particular way. He even mentions some of those gifts in his letter to the Corinthians: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing,miracles, tongues…the list probably could go on and on. Under the best circumstances congregations provide a fertile environment for the use of those spiritual gifts. There is no competition or showing off…there is no hierarchy of gifts. Those who exercise their gifts will do so with a spirit of humility and kindness…and no one’s gift will be considered insignificant. Unfortunately brothers and sisters in Christ have had a difficult time creating such an atmosphere. Too often there has been bickering and savage in-fighting…occasionally people have been discounted and precious gifts have gone unappreciated and unused. It’s just so hard to keep the common good Paul talks about at the center of our life together. We get caught up in our individual needs, wants, and desires and the Body loses energy and effectiveness. Each of us has a gift that can be used in our mission…what a blessing it is when we get to use it!

Thought for the Day: What is my spiritual gift and how am I using it in my congregation?

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