Spiritual Gifts Don’t Come With Receipts.
Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant… to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. I Corinthians 12:1, 7
I’m happy with – even over-joyed by – the gifts I received for Christmas. I was abundantly blessed by quite a bit of wrapped stuff.
Not always the case in years past. The, ahem, wedge-heel, open-toed gold house shoes with coordinating buttoned house coat just wasn’t my style. I quickly exchanged those items for a plush and pricey, red robe that I’ve worn each winter for over fifteen years.
Whenever possible, I’ve returned gifts, exchanged them for something else.
Something that better flattered my figure.
Something I deemed useful.
Something that incited others’ wild-eyed begging, “Where’d you get that?”
Something I asked for because I really wanted it – badly enough to ask for it.
Spiritual gifts are granted by the Lord, a manifestation of the Spirit of God within the body of Christ. They are intended for His purposes, not for my own selfish satisfaction. He never even asks to see my spiritual gift wish list.
He gives them (spiritual gifts) to each one, just as He determines.
I Corinthians 12:11
Heaven knows, there have been times when I wished to trade the gift of mercy for administration after finding myself in an organizational muddle because I’ve chosen to stop activities and listen to the heart cry of someone in crisis while my to-do list lengthened.
Sometimes I’ve let my eyes wander and zeroed in on Sally Sue or Billy Bob’s spiritual gifts. Heck, their gifts get called on more frequently, seem more desirable than the ones I’ve been assigned.
I’ve begun this mental digging around in my purse,
searching for a spiritual gift receipt. Until God gently reminds me to cut that out and, instead, embrace the gifts He chose for me.
“Consider – again – the people I’ve placed in your midst. Some need a kind word, a smile.”
Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.
Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13
“How will I know, Lord?
“Use that gift of discernment I gave you.”
Why did God give me the gift of discernment, mercy? Or even teaching? Because it was for the common good. It’s what He’s determined.
Why didn’t God give me the gift of administration or prophecy or healing? Because it was for the common good. It’s what He’s determined.
There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. I Corinthians 12:25
Spiritual gifts didn’t come with receipts. God saw no need for that. Besides, every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17). Even if I could, why return absolutely perfect gifts that fit just right and make God look great on me?
And anything, anything, beats the heck out of a pair of hideous gold house shoes 🙁