Thu Jun 27-Human Beings, Not Human Doings

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

 There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. 


Paul’s message concerns the distribution of spiritual, God-given gifts to everyone. EVERYONE! Not just those who believe in God but every living, breathing child of God. We have unique spiritual gifts to be used in whatever way is beneficial to the common good. The “common good” includes EVERYONE too! God created human beings and gave us all spiritual gifts to love all of God’s children and care for all of creation. But we often struggle with what our different spiritual gifts are.

After fifteen years of ministry in the Greater NJ Conference, my spouse and I moved from NJ to AZ in 2005. I had no idea how God would use my spiritual gifts in this new environment, but I received an email before I left that invited people to be coached in discovering exactly that. It was called “The Life on Purpose Process.”

Perhaps the most memorable part of that process was learning that we are Human Beings, not Human Doings. In our search for purpose, we usually think about what we are going to DO when we grow up, or go to college, or get married, or when we have children, or some other marker. We consider what skills we have or maybe what will make us a lot of money. People’s
focus is seldom on our Spiritual Gifts, who we BE as a child of God.

Paul reminds us in this passage as well as in other letters that who we BE utilizes our Spiritual Gifts for the Common Good. (And possibly what we eventually will DO to make a living.) Our spiritual gifts determine who we BE, and who we BE determines what we are going to DO. For example, I have seen gifted church musicians who may not make as much money as someone who goes to Nashville or tours in a band, but they balance their lives between the sacred and secular worlds allowing them to be incredibly happy and productive as they fulfill their unique life purpose.

My journey after being coached through the Life on Purpose Process in 2006 has been gratifying and has led me to serve in ministry in a variety of ways that I never imagined. For me, “a life on purpose is creative, compassionate service overflowing with laughter, love, and peace in harmony with the Divine.” That’s who I BE as a Human Being whatever I do.

by Kathleen Stolz

For Pondering and Prayer

How do you know what gifts you have? I do not think everyone needs to go through a coaching process. As you interact with others, what feelings do you have? When you see someone in need do you help fill that need? Listen to your heart, to the Spirit within. Serving the common good means sharing God’s love with everyone through your unique spiritual gifts.

Now it’s time to meditate on your own spiritual gifts and who God has created you to BE. Find a quiet spot, bring a journal and let this question rest on your heart. What brings you joy as you interact with others? Let the Spirit guide your prayer of contemplation.

Prayer: Great Spirit, come to me and be with me in this time of seeking, discernment and discovery. We live in a world of challenges amid people who are hurting and as our environment is in distress. You have given me spiritual gifts to use with others for the common good. Raise my awareness to the pain in your world so that I may be your hands, your feet, your voice to be the change that is needed today. Amen

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