Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
Here I think is a very true statement: nobody likes a phony! People don’t want you to pretend to be something your not just to convince them of something or to win their approval. This leads me to an important question, isn’t that what we are doing in the church today? The church world, at least in America, has bought it to the idea that in order to get people to come to Christ or to our little corner of the church we have to pretend to be something we are not so we don’t scare anybody off. We behave under the assumption that if people really see what we’re like they go running for the hills. Please don’t take me wrong, I fully subscribed to the concept that we should make church a welcoming and accepting place. When people visit New Life I want them to feel as though they are part of the family. On the other hand, however, I have no intention of hiding who we are or act as if we are something we are not. In other words, if you’re Pentecostal act like it. We shouldn’t try to hide the fact that we are people of the Spirit because we are afraid if people find out who we really are they will run away. That is what Paul is saying in this verse. According to bible scholar Gordon Fee, what Paul is talking about here is not the fact that everyone has a spiritual gift, but rather that the gifts are “manifestations” of the Spirit’s presence among. He concludes that if Paul intended to say that everyone has a spiritual gift he would have said “every single one.” He also states that Paul emphasis here is not on the gifts themselves, but the One who gives the gifts (see v. 4) (Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 163-164). So perhaps we should look at the gifts not as something to shy away from because they might freak out a visitor to our church, but rather they should be embraced and celebrated as tangible evidence that the Holy Spirit is in or midst. Personally, I think people don’t want a concept of God, on the contrary, they want to experience Him first hand. Let’s not be afraid to let people experience God’s presence.