DIFFERENT GIFTS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
In Corinthians 12:12 (New International Version), the Apostle Paul used the human body as a metaphor for the body of Christ. Just as the human body has many parts which perform varying functions, so does the body of Christ. Although these parts are different, no one part functions better than the other.
We as the body of Christ have different personalities and individual gifts. Let me explain this further using a Church. Generally, most churches have these three categories of people: the usher, the chorister and the pastor / preacher. Simply put, the usher serves, the chorister sings and the preacher preaches, one is not more superior than the other because of their gift, these gifts are all functioning to the glory of God. But imagine this, one day the chorister comes to church and insists on giving the sermon thinking “the pastor has a greater gift”. Or better still, the pastor insists on leading the hymn for the day also thinking “the gift of the chorister is more important”. That should never be the case.
Paul further says in 1 Corinthians 12:25 – 26 (New International Version) “..there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
I remember the first time I partook in a group interview. It was for a ‘people-focused’ role, meaning I would have to interact with many people in the course of my employment. I am a social-introvert. Although I never shy away from public speaking, I am hardly ever the social person. At the interview, I saw many lively and extroverted people in the group and in my mind I thought “how would I show the panel I am up to the task even though I am not an extrovert?” Just before the interview started, the coordinators addressed us saying that we should be ourselves, that even though we were applying for a ‘people-focused’ role, not every applicant had to be extroverted and outgoing, “just be yourself”. I listened and I was my introverted self. A couple of days later, I received an email saying I got the job.
I have always known that we cannot all be the same. But after that group interview, I really got to understand this. In Corinthians 12:17 (New International Version, Paul says “if the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” This applies to us as the body of Christ, if we all had the same character and gifts where would our diversity be? God has given to each and every one of us our own special gift, and for a reason.
I want to close with the parable of the talents. This parable is in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27. Before a rich man went on a journey he gave his three servants five talents, two talents and one talent respectively. The one with five talents traded with the five and made five more. The one with two talents made two more. The third servant with one talent buried it in the ground and when his master returned, he gave back the one talent he received and was chastised by his master. The equivalent of a talent these days is money, gold or something valuable and precious. Today, many of us would look at that parable and say why would the person with one talent bury it? Well, we may not be “burying our talents” literally, but we may be burying our gifts. It does not have to be grand before a gift is special, a gift is a gift. More so, our gifts are not limited to the Church, wherever you find yourself, use your gift to the Glory of God.
Romans 12:6 – 8 (New International Version)
“6. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7. if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8. if it is to encourage then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
The Revolutionary Righter.©