There are some things we learn as Christians that are just “public knowledge.” We may not be sure where this information is in the scripture and we may not remember where we heard it at all. Growing up, many of these “truths” came to my knowledge through music–children’s, praise music, and hymns. As an adult I’m happy to relearn many of these truths through scriptures. It’s always a happy surprise when I read something in God’s Word that has previously been written on my heart through music. or little Bible stories as a girl.

Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Until I started considering what I might be when I “grew up” I never thought much about spiritual gifts. I never thought much about the Spirit at all. As a young girl then and even now as a young mother and wife, I’m a lot like the Corinthians. Paul writes to them in Corinthians 12: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led” (v. 1-2). 

I definitely don’t consider myself a pagan, but I will admit when I’m led around like one. Television is a big culprit in my life. In the past when I was younger, peers were often the leaders in my life. As first-world citizens, there are a lot of culprits in our lives–jobs, aspirations, magazines, teachers, social media, all media. The hard questions to ask are not just about what or who is leading us, but what idols we are being led to, and where we’re headed. We’re asked all the time as young people where we’re headed, but rarely asked as adults.

One Body with Many Members

Directly after this warning to the Corinthians, Paul moves right into a teaching moment. He warns, you don’t want to be led toward idols…so

Paul’s so would become one of the most taught lectures in scripture regarding the church. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 explains in details that we’ve all heard before. The church is made up of many parts, but makes up one body in Christ. Every part is important. Every part, feet, eyes, hands–they all have a specific purpose and job. Not all members of the body of Christ (the church) can be the same thing. Not all are meant to or should be preachers. Then the church would be filled with preachers. If all were teachers, there would be no room for preachers or missionaries, etc.

So what did I miss every time I heard this passage as a young person?

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). 

I’m sure you didn’t miss this. I’m not revealing anything brand new from scripture today that wasn’t discovered yesterday. What I’ve realized is this:

It’s not just Christians that make up the body of Christ and it’s not just Christians that receive gifts from the Holy Spirit. It’s everyone. Everyone.

In fact the verse says God empowers them all in everyone.

That means that I can connect with others, even at the most basic level, whether we believe the same thing or not.

No matter what our gifts are, we have connections with others who share the gift and the burden with us.

Gifts of administration, discernment, evangelism, exhortation, faith, giving, healing, helps, hospitality, knowledge, leadership, mercy, prophecy, serving, speaking in tongues, teaching, wisdom, and being an apostle–these gifts, talents, and passions do not exist inside a vacuum.

Are you having trouble connecting with others? Share your burden, your passion, and your calling with others.