Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-7
A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. 1 Corinthians 12:7
Chances are that when you think about the most important parts of your body, elbows don’t even make your top-ten list. They don’t keep you alive, like your heart. They don’t give you the ability to reason, like your brain. They don’t even help you hear or see or sniff.
Yet life would be rough without elbows. Stretch out your arms and imagine life without these joints. You couldn’t fix your hair, brush your teeth, or aim your food anywhere near your mouth. You couldn’t play the flute, French horn, or violin, though you could handle one or two low notes on a trombone. And you would look really stiff swinging a baseball bat or tossing a football.
Elbows aren’t beautiful. But without them, life just wouldn’t work very well.
Paul says that the body of Christ is made up of people with different spiritual gifts—special abilities for serving other believers and reaching out to non-Christians. The Bible promises that you possess one or more of these unique abilities. God wants you to use his gifts to express his love through you.
Spiritual gifts include many abilities, from preaching and teaching to giving, encouragement, and mercy. Maybe you’re still trying to find out what your gift is. Or you’re afraid that you might not have one at all. Don’t worry. It’s there, and God knows exactly what it is.
That’s a truth you accept by faith—that is, God said it, so you can trust it’s true even if you can’t see right now exactly what your gift is. You can relax and enjoy knowing God has some special ability he’s put inside you. And you can look forward to God bringing it to light as you learn how to share your life with others.
Here’s the hitch: Some gifts seem way more important than others. But just as our forgotten elbows play an important part in the human body, every spiritual gift is needed in the body of Christ. One gift isn’t any better than another, because “it is the same God who does the work through all of us” (1 Corinthians 12:6).
Your gifts make you significant not only to God, but to your whole world. You might think you’re just an elbow. Yet whether you realize it or not, you are a needed part of God’s plan. No one else can do the job God designed you to do!
TALK: How have you used your talents and spiritual gifts to benefit others?
PRAY: God, help us to use our gifts to serve you—and to bless others.
ACT: Are you wondering how you can figure out your spiritual gift? Start by volunteering for a variety of service activities at your church. The things you enjoy and do well will give you a good clue about your spiritual gifts!