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Tonight the growth group I lead for my church was discussing spiritual gifts. Interestingly, this discussion took place as part of an 8 week series on surrendering to God. I know this seems like a strange context for talking about spiritual gifts, but it really isn't. It was exciting to see how we were all exploring out gifts and where we might fit in.
Often times when we discuss spiritual gifts we don't look at the larger picture. Like a certain web-head, we focus on our own, individual situation. We look at our gifts without considering where we fit in the full plan of what God is doing currently or His great plan for all time.
Have you recently read any of the passages that discuss these gifts? The Apostle Paul often discusses them during the same time as he discusses unity in the Church.
Read 1 Corinthians 12-14 or Romans 12. God gives us these super powers but He has certain expectations. Both of these passages discuss spiritual gifts, church unity, and love. These 3 things are fully inter-connected.
If we think our gifts are useless, we fail to serve. If we think our gifts are the most important, we disrespect other members of God's people.
Think about Spiderman:he is a solo hero. He is not a team player but yet he has joined with the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. His uncle told him that (you know this line so say it with me) "WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY." We often think of that responsibility as it stands in relation to him and the citizens of NYC. But what about the responsibility of it in regards to the other heroes? What about his place in the scheme of the Marvel Universe? We found out how hard that is in the Civil War storyline, right? [spoilers] He joined one side, disagreed with them, got in a sticky situation, got rescued, and joined the other side.
We don't always agree in life. The Avengers movie showed how easy it is to showboat and how difficult to come to a place of cooperation. But what happens when that cooperation does come to it's prime? When we trust God and use our gifts as directed by Him instead of insisting that some gifts are better or more necessary. 6 Heroes defeated a full army led by an Asgardian, despite the huge size of the army.
Do you know your spiritual gifts? If not, get on the training ground and play around. Start serving and you will find your gifts over time. You might want to take a spiritual gifts assessment. Talk with your pastor. Find out how your gifts fit into what your church is doing. I would also remind you that these gifts tend to be useful outside the church as well.
With great redemption comes great mission. Get out there and serve!