Author: Samuel Coley // Men’s Group // Junior
1Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
1 Corinthians 12: 1-14
I was at the Sunday morning service at St. Luke’s UMC last week and this verse left me with a lot of questions and had parts that I didn’t understand. It starts with Paul addressing the church of Corinth by saying that even though they worship God, there was a time when they worshiped false idols and were led astray to the following of various gods each with a different purpose. He brings the idea that with Christianity comes unity and the need for an understanding that each part of the Trinity makes up God and without a single aspect you cannot have any of the other two. This concept in and of itself is a powerful devotion but the aspect of a unified Church is what I will be focusing on currently.
Something I have been struggling with recently is finding my calling and what part I am to have in supporting the community of Christ. Prior to coming to UCF, I decided that I would study engineering and use the tools and my educational background in STEM to try to work at Disney. I had been set on doing just that for the rest of my life and had “backup plans” but never believed I would need to make any moves towards them. After two years of studying engineering, I accepted something that I had been trying to ignore throughout that time. I lacked the discipline and motivation to pursue engineering and would lose track of exactly what I had planned for the rest of my life. Following my transfer into the college of business I am finding it difficult to figure out exactly what my strengths are and how I can use them to pursue a career or even just a current degree. I’ve taken online tests and reached out to the UCF career figure outer people and still am about as clueless with how I fit in and am able to work with those around me.
Outside of the aspect of figuring out my degree, my purpose and confidence that I had it right the first time is what leads me to talk about Spiritual Gifts. I can graduate with whatever degree I want but, for me, if I am not able to use that degree in a way I see it bettering the community around me, there is no purpose for me to have that degree. The concept of Spiritual Gifts is something that a lot of people struggle with figuring out. We are taught that in order for a Church to grow in its faith and its community, each member has their own role to take up and that no role is more or less important that another role. The hardest part is to find your role that is most beneficial to the community. In the passage Paul talks about the Spirit of God distributing our gifts just as he determines. This means that each of us is given a talent that we are able to use in the Church and our lives.
In the passage, Paul defines the spiritual gifts and it is easy to see how it is necessary to have all of the gifts present in Christianity for there to be a universal church (without faith there cannot be wisdom). It would be much simpler if the Holy Spirit was able to give us a letter letting us know what our gift was but part of our call to faith is to pursue our own growth and to find our own place in the Church. We are not able to pursue our own gifts until we are aware of the gifts in our sisters and brothers around us. To pursue our gifts with the idea that I was placed here so that I can make a difference in the church that I am a part of will lead to a place that creates your own spiritual gift or a culmination of multiple gifts in order to fill the void of the others around us. To find our spiritual gifts, we must look at those around us and understand that whatever gift we have will work together and flow in a way that you can pick up more gifts through others as we pursue our faith in a deeper level.
Paul goes on to say that each of us is baptized whether a Jew or a gentile. In modern terms that may translate to mean follower of Christ or a non-Christ follower. For me this translates to mean that God creates each of us and blesses each of us with a gift before we make the decision to follow him and that each of our gifts are given to use by the same spirit, the same spirit that we come together to grow and learn more about in a community we create with the understanding that no single person in the community is more important or less valuable than any other.