“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good...But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” (1 Cor 12:4-7, 11, NASB)
Imagine this: you’re all dressed up to attend an orchestral concert. In the theater you settle into your comfy, velvety red seat. The polished-looking musicians are set up on the grand stage. The theater lights flicker, then dim. The conductor comes out, bows to the crowd and faces the orchestra with arms raised. (This is it!) The timpani starts. Then silence. The mallets pound on the drum head a few more times. Three minutes of awkward and confusing silence pass before the timpani sounds again and ends the piece in a great flourish. Huh. Not what you expected, right? More than likely you expected the other instruments to chime in at some point before the end of the piece. You only knew what the song was because of the concert program. The full impact of the song was definitely absent. All of God’s children are called to be like Christ (Ephesians 5). When I reflect Christ, I reflect God (John 1:1). A musician in an orchestra plays an instrument to bring a written musical composition to life. As a Christian, I am to glorify God, bringing His written Word to life by living it out daily. Similar to an orchestra made up of various instruments—which are made differently, played in specific ways to produce various sounds and tones—God has equipped the body of Christ with “varieties of gifts.” God, our Conductor, has the master “sheet music,” if you will, with all our individual parts—the unique giftings and talents He’s given us. When all the instruments play their parts together, despite—or rather, thanks to—their distinct sounds, lovely music is created. As I strive to be like Christ, I should also embrace my uniqueness and stay true to who God made me. In Ephesians 4:1–3 the Apostle Paul urges us “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” I admit I have sometimes compared my giftings to others’ and have erroneously wished I had someone else’s skill set instead of—or in addition to—my own. It’s not that I dislike my abilities, but I sometimes think other skills would make me a better missionary or bring more people to Christ. The Holy Spirit pushes through those thoughts and reminds me that there are certain people that I can only reach because of my uniqueness in Christ. I love how we GEMers are allowed and encouraged to use our unique gifts and talents to accomplish GEM’s mission. While calling us to be like Christ, God gives us different roles to play and tasks to do that are specific to who He made us to be. Let’s delight in our uniqueness and collaborate with whatever “instruments” God’s given us to reach as many people as we can for the Gospel.
Warmly in Christ,
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (Romans 12:4–6a, NASB)
What gifts has God given you?
If you’re not using your gifts in your ministry(ies) already, how could you “exercise them” in your work?