January 14

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

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

Paul believed that within each congregation there were a variety of gifts, services, and activities that were sparked by the presence of the Spirit. Moreover, since no one individual could do everything, each person had been equipped with particular gifts. In his words, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” In a healthy congregation everyone would be blessed in a particular way, not so they could flaunt their gift over others, but so that all could benefit. Everything would be done for “the common good.” It’s a simple thought, and in many congregations we’ve seen what blessings can come with such intentions. Unfortunately the whole notion of a common good is under attack in the secular world. The driving force in many peoples’ lives is now rampant individualism. They’re no longer asking “What can I do for the sake of others?” Instead they are demanding the right to do whatever suits their fancy and brings benefit to themselves. They mask their selfishness in the cloak of freedom and imagine that such behavior will lead to greatness. It’s an old heresy, one that always leads to division, and it’s all so sad. All people possess amazing gifts and abilities, and when all those talents are pooled together for the common good, God’s blessings are multiplied. It’s happened before and it can happen again.

Thought for the Day: How has individualism threatened my congregation?

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