Inspired by the Africa Study Bible

We live in a world full of insecurity. We base our worth on what we accomplish, how well we perform, and what leadership positions we hold. We compare ourselves to others rather than celebrate instead. We toxify our own lives with lies and darkness. We have abandoned the truth at our own expense. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12 not to be jealous of others’ gifts. He saw the consequences of jealousy and its negative impact on the body of Christ.

God has given each person on this earth spiritual gifts (v. 27).  All the spiritual gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12. Every spiritual gift on that list is present in the world, of equal importance, and necessary for success. Spiritual gifts are made to edify and lift up the Church as a whole for the Kingdom and glory of God.

Sometimes, it is hard to discover what your spiritual gift(s) are. It takes time, practice, and trial and error. You may have several interests but you’re unsure of what your number one gift is. You may not know what your interests are yet and need help finding your niche. These confusions and thoughts are common and you are not alone. It is perfectly acceptable and welcomed to ask for help from a mature Christian mentor. Church leaders want to see the church flourish and grow for the sake of the gospel, so they would love to help you find your spiritual gift(s) and show you practical ways to exercise them with a joyful attitude. Pray and rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal your spiritual gifts to you through dedication to God and his Word.

There is no one gift that is better than the others. Every gift is necessary in the Church and Christian community. If someone chooses not to use their gifts, the Kingdom of God is at a loss. The Bible describes the Church and gifts as a body with multiple parts (v. 15-17). If a person breaks their hand or loses an eye, they cannot function properly or to their fullest ability. They can still function to a degree, but not at the highest capacity (v.20-21). In 1 Corinthians, Paul emphasizes the importance of using spiritual gifts because each gift must be present within the community. If everyone has the same gift, there would be no diversity. The Church would fall short in some areas and excel in others (v.29-31). Every gift matters and is needed.

“…every believer has been given some gift – some special ability by the Holy Spirit to expand, strengthen, or encourage the church…”

Africa Study Bible

There are many different ways to use your spiritual gifts for the Lord. If you are a pastor or church leader, encourage your congregation to team up to discover their spiritual gift. Offer training, classes, or mentorship programs that will not only help them find their gift but also give them a way to use it. It is important to know what each of the gifts means in God’s terms. Encourage them, shepherd them, and lead them down the right path toward growing the Kingdom in new ways like never before.

Spiritual gifts are about unity (v. 4-6). We do not have to “measure up” or “try harder” or “be the best at _____” for God to use us. He has already given us unique abilities that we simply must uncover. Through spiritual gifts, we have the ability to thrive in our identity and authority in Christ and not just survive.

This excerpt is inspired by an Article of the Africa Study Bible titled, “ The Proper use of Spiritual Gifts ”. Africa Study Bible Articles are about the Christian life and critical concerns that face the church in Africa and its people. The articles help you understand how to apply the bible to a specific area of life where God’s wisdom is needed.

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