“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:4-8)
FROM GOD TO YOU TO OTHERS
How is your gift-giving going?
Paul says that those of us in the body of Christ have been given different gifts by God. (see above) In another letter, he says that we have each been given “... the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) Some have been given the gift of prophecy... some the gift of ministry (service)... some the gift of music or writing or visual art... some the gift of teaching... some the gift of exhortation... some the gift of generosity... some the gift of leadership... some the gift of compassion... some the gift of hospitality... some the gift of accounting... some the gift of encouragement... some the gift of counseling... some the gift of building or fixing things, etc. Any of these gifts, and many not named here, can be used for the good of the body of Christ and for the good of the world.
It’s a giving chain, if you will. God blesses us with gifts, so that we can use those gifts to benefit others. And - in the process of our giving - we are blessed, too. We receive something, especially with respect to the connections that we make with others. We become what Paul calls “members one of another.”
So... how is it going with your gift giving? Are you using the gifts that God has given you? Do you ever get sidetracked with trying to do things that aren’t really your gifts? (Me and plumbing, for example.) Sometimes we do those other things because we want to help out or because we want to learn a new skill. That’s fine. But we are most effective when we are offering the gifts that God has given to us. When we do those things, there is flow... there is a certain “humming along”... there is a certain ease. And there is apt to be joy in the midst of the offering, too. And when we are all offering those gifts - simultaneously - then the body is well, and the community really hums!
Thank you for your particular gifts that you offer for the common good. This community is blessed because you offer them!