September 05, 2015

Spiritual Gifts for Everyone

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

—  1 Corinthians 12:7

God has made us diverse in a variety of ways. The 7.3 billion humans alive today differ in age, intelligence, ability, ethnicity, culture, personality, gender, vocation, interests, and much more.

1 Corinthians 12 says that God gave his people a variety of spiritual gifts including wisdom, faith, healing, and speaking in tongues. Other Scripture passages mention other gifts, and each person receives gifts. The Spirit “distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

Though we can affirm this truth with our heads, we have trouble living it out. We must learn to see that all people have gifts from the Spirit, including people like these:

The woman who constantly talks about her aches and pains whenever you see her.

The homeless man who rarely showers and sits in the back at church.

The refugee family who always keep to themselves at church.

The child with autism who can’t sit still.

We hold the gifts of some people in high esteem, and we question whether some other people have gifts at all. But God esteems each of us and the gifts he gives. To see each other as God sees us, we must know that God gives spiritual gifts to every believer.

Whose spiritual gifts are you not seeing? Will you make it a matter of prayer to accept ­others as God sees them?

Infinitely gifted God, thank you for distributing your gifts among all believers. Open my eyes to see the gifts you give to each one. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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