Reading Through the Bible, Thursday, November 24. 1 Corinthians 12 – 14

    To want what we want when we want it is, unfortunately, common to us all.  To expect to get what we want when we want it, or insist on it, is the heart of selfishness.  This self-centeredness is at the heart of the trouble in the Corinthians church.  You see it in their desire to “fit in” and sacrifice to idols.  You see it in the disorders of the worship assembly in chapter 11.  And you see it again in chapters 12-14 as Paul discusses the exercise of “spiritual gifts.”

    The early Church was characterized by abilities given and empowered by God’s Spirit.  Some were miraculous and commanded the attention of others.  Unfortunately, they also fed the self-centeredness of the Corinthian church.

    In chapter 12, Paul makes points: First, that while everyone has different gifts from God, they all come from the same God and are dependent solely on God’s choice – so no one should elevate himself above another just because he has a particular gift.  Second, these gifts are not given to distinguish Christians from one another, but to empower them to serve one another.  Finally, all the gifts are equally important because each is simply a part of a whole.  For the body of Christ to be what it needs to be, all the gifts God gives are important.

    Each of us has a place in the body of Christ.  While some of us might get more “air time” (face time), all are important and none are dispensable.  If you feel you are not being valued, it may be that your church is overlooking you.  On the other hand, it is more likely that you are not living up to the potential God has given you.