God is all about re-gifting
Spiritual gifts are the only gifts you are expected—and even commanded—to give away after you’ve received them.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
Receiving a gift is always so much fun, especially if it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time. It’s one of the times we sort of expect people to be selfish. When someone receives a gift, generally it’s acceptable for that person to enjoy it by themselves.
In a few days, we’ll all be gathered around Christmas trees exchanging gifts with each other. There will be laughter and tears, shrieks and cries of delight (or alarm, depending), and it would be highly unusual for someone to open a gift and immediately distribute it to the rest of the people in the room.
We’d be shocked by that. Culturally in America, gifts are for your own personal use. It can even be offensive in some cases if a person turns around and gives their gift away. We call that re-gifting in most circumstances, and even though everyone does it, we try to do it surreptitiously.
So what is God talking about with our spiritual gifts? Because it’s stated plainly in this verse that our spiritual gifts aren’t for us. Our spiritual gifts are for other people.
Spiritual gifts exist to be shared. They aren’t part of our lives to enrich our own lives, although when you use them that’s eventually what takes place. We have spiritual gifts in order to support each other, to encourage each other, to bless each other. Spiritual gifts are what keep the Church functioning.
Your spiritual gift isn’t about attaining status within the church or among your community. It’s not about gaining influence or power or wealth. It’s not even about leading a ministry. If leadership or administration is your gift, that’s what it will usually look like, but the point isn’t to become a leader; it’s to point others to Jesus. It’s to make the church a place where God is glorified.
I guess you could say it’s the gift that keeps giving, and it’s the only gift you are expected—and even commanded—to give away after you’ve received it.
Questions for Reflection
How are some ways you have seen spiritual gifts misused or abused in the church?
How can you tell if you are using your spiritual gift in the way God intended?
Why do you think the church needs spiritual gifts to function?
Weekly Memory Verse