Gifts of the Spirit: Unity in Diversity

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 NKJV

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Imagine a football team: in order to be effective there has to be a diversity of skills. There must be coaches, quarter backs, running backs, offense and defensive linemen, kickers, receivers, etc. There cannot be a team of just receivers or just linemen or just coaches or just kickers. There must be diversity to make up an effective team. So one should not be jealous over another’s position or talent, they should focus on being the best they can be at their position. anatomy

Consider a body: There are many different parts of the body with different functions. And every part is necessary! Diversity is important! The purpose of the lungs and kidneys and the heart all are for the benefit of the entire body. The veins should focus on being veins. The lungs on being lungs. The brain cannot try to be the intestines. The body, just like a team, needs everybody doing their job and focusing on their role, and the body will be successful. 

Both of these are analogous to the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. We cannot be jealous of another’s gift. We should be seeking our own! We should be focusing on being diligent over our own ministries! We should be perfecting our own crafts and not focusing on others’. We must leave that to the brain! We must leave that to the coach! We must leave that to our leader! We must leave it at the altar in prayer! In doing our job, we best help the body. On the football field, players help boost the morale of the team when they put forth their best effort. In the church, when people are filled with the Spirit and ministries are powerfully moved by God, it inspires everyone else. 

But we cannot be filled and on fire if we are focused on judging everyone else and not focused on our own assignments! We also should not be jealous of one another like Cain was jealous of Abel! We must give God our best! We must know that the same Spirit is working in us all for the benefit of us all. We must know that there is unity in our diversity. Let us appreciate each other as we work for the same Lord. Even the most unusual and unique are valuable to God. We must love and respect His body! This includes and extends to different types of churches and denominations. One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism.

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