26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. 27 You are the body of Christ and parts of each other. 28 In the church, God has appointed first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, the ability to help others, leadership skills, different kinds of tongues. 29 All aren’t apostles, are they? All aren’t prophets, are they? All aren’t teachers, are they? All don’t perform miracles, do they? 30 All don’t have gifts of healing, do they? All don’t speak in different tongues, do they? All don’t interpret, do they? 31 Use your ambition to try to get the greater gifts. And I’m going to show you an even better way.
In my family, we often joked that if one of us stubbed our toe, all of us would cry about it. We have always been an extremely tight unit, relying deeply on one another. But, as you may guess, despite some of our similarities, we are each quite unique in what we contribute to each other.
My mother contributed immense amounts of knowledge. She knew the most random facts about the wildest topics, and if she didn’t understand why something was the way it was, she would find multiple sources to answer the question at hand. No question was ever left unanswered.
My step-mother contributes an intuition about how others are feeling and what words they need to hear in that moment. Often, she understands how people are feeling better than they themselves do! She’s always quick to offer support and affirmation.
My sister contributes a thoughtfulness and sensitivity to the world that makes you slow down and realize all the things you’re missing. She can remember how sun looked when it hit a chair back in kindergarten. It’s amazing!
My father is a fixer, often paralleling his mechanic work to his own ministry. He see’s a problem and can come up with the best solution for everyone on how to fix it. It’s matched with a lot of patience with knowing that some things can’t be fixed with a quick solution.
To go along with the car theme, I’ve often thought of myself as an ignition (maybe more accurately the ignition coil, but stick with me). Something that I’ve been good at from a young age is sparking excitement in others. I’ll make dull outings fun. I’ll invite people to get energized about new ideas. I often don’t come up with the final product, but help others get there.
Each of these gifts are wonderful, but don’t do all that much on their own. All aren’t intuitive, are they? All aren’t thoughtful, are they? What’s the point of fixing or inspiring if they’re by themselves? But when they combine, they make something great. When one suffers, the rest do. “You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.” Who we are and what we are good at is essential for the work of God.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
What are you good at? What is your secret talent? What would you consider to be your spiritual gift? What is one new way you can contribute with that gift?
Prayer: Holy God, you have gifted us each with unique, necessary gifts for being a part of the body of Christ. Thank you. Forgive us for the ways we’ve shied away from using our gifts out of fear. Work within us so that our gifts can flourish with other unique gifts. Amen.
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