“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” (New Revised Standard Version)
A gift is meant to be unpacked. No one is graciously given a gift, then lets it set unopened. We dive into the gift and express gratitude for it. Then, we use it.
It is really no different with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has been marvelously given to God’s people. Each and every individual Christian is given a special gift to be opened, unpacked, activated, and used. The kinds of gifts we are talking about are for the common good. And this is where the gift is different than Christmas or birthday presents.
Spiritual gifts provided to us are designed by God to be used and dispersed for the benefit of others. They are not solely meant for personal satisfaction. In other words, if a person’s spiritual gift is teaching, he/she doesn’t stand in a mirror and talk at themselves. Rather, they jump into the fray of learning and explaining, and do it in such a gracious and loving way that the enablement of the Spirit is evident.
If a person’s gift is faith, that person doesn’t merely step out and act with unusual courage for the purpose of personal betterment in a holy belief from God. Instead, that person shows and demonstrates godly faithfulness to God’s people and to God’s world. The gift is used for the common good of all persons.
The accumulation of wisdom and knowledge is meant for the strengthening of faith in others. Spiritual gifts are intended by God to be shared freely for the common good of all people so that souls are buttressed and supported for the rigors of daily life in the world.
Therefore, we are to take the initiative in identifying our gift(s), unpacking them, and indiscriminately using them. Spiritual health and wholeness can only be truly realized through everyone actively participating in the distribution of their God-given abilities. Spiritual gifts are neither to be hoarded, nor miserly dealt to only people I like or my own little world of groupies and friends. Any and every ability comes from God, and is, therefore given for the common good of all persons. Underprivileged groups need the giftedness of others, as well as discovering their own resources to be used so that everyone is built up in a society of redeemed persons.
Whatever it is you do well, do it well through allowing God to activate it for his glory and for the prevailing needs of a church and a world which is desperately in want of seeing the manifestation of the Holy Spirit among them.
O Lord, you have taught us that without love, whatever we do is worth nothing. Send your Holy Spirit and pour into my heart your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.