Not long ago I was part of a discussion concerning Spiritual gifts. Is teaching a Spiritual gift? Is music? What about sewing? Paul helped me understand.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God who works all of them in all men. (12:4-6)
The apostle gives us three categories of Spiritual influence: gifts, service, and working. Paul said we are blessed with all three, given by the same Spirit.
The list of Spiritual gifts is specific: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation of tongues, teaching, administration. (12:7-10, 28) These gifts can and should be used in service to God in the church. But they differ from God given abilities like music, carpentry, sewing, athletic, etc.
I believe Paul wants us to see beyond putting a gift or ability in a correct column. Look at verse 7:
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Do you know what your Spiritual gifts are? There are online inventories that can help you identify them. I think we need to know the areas in which the Spirit has gifted each of us.
Have you identified your God-given abilities? I believe this is as important as knowing what your Spiritual gifts are. Ignoring them or denying them does not bring honor to to the Giver of those talents and abilities.
Then, knowing your gifts and abilities, how are you using them for the common good of your church fellowship? Paul talks about a healthy body with all the working parts. Is your fellowship crippled because you, as a toe, think what God has given you is not really all that important? Is your church trying to operate without an elbow or an ear because you would rather be an eye?
If you are a Christian, God has given you a Spiritual gift. If you are a human, God has given you certain talents and abilities. And Paul and I believe God has given you those things for you to use for the common good, the furthering of the Gospel in and through your church fellowship.
It’s not a matter of “if” you have gifts and abilities. It’s a matter of what you are going to do with your gifts and abilities for Jesus’ sake and for His glory.