Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLT)
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
Some of you may remember comedian Yakov Smirnoff. He said when he first came to the United States from Russia; he wasn’t prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk–you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice–you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to my self, what a country!” Variety is what Paul is stressing here about Spiritual gifts. Just as it takes different kinds of people to make the world go around, so it takes a variety of gifts to make the church effective. These verses set the theological backdrop for everything that Paul wants to say about spiritual gifts in the conversation that follows. The words themselves that Paul uses indicate both unity and variety. The opening phrases open with “the same,” and then conclude with a member of the Trinity. Therefore, the unity of God brings variety, not uniformity, and God is the one that provides the variety (Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT, 586). So rather than try and make everyone fit into a mold, we should encourage people to embrace their own gifting’s because they are given by the Holy Spirit for that reason. For too long we in the church have tended to gravitate towards sameness, but God wants us to be different. The Holy Spirit gives us all different gifts for a reason, and so we should embrace who He has made us to be. Be who you are and make the most of the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to you. Happy gifting!