In Touch - November 22, 2005
In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
Cautions Regarding Spiritual Gifts
Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians addressed a problem in the church. People valued only certain gifts and were focused on who had which ones. Believers with the "better" gifts were elevated above others, while those without the preferred abilities were considered less important. Spiritual pride was rampant, which is a problem that can still occur today.
Caution #1 — God doesn't give everyone the same endowment. Each believer receives at least one gift according to the Spirit's purposes and choosing. While we are all called to be merciful, some are given the gift of mercy. Their remarkable ability to minister to the hurting and the outcasts of society can be explained only by the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
Caution #2 — We can't tell others, "You should have this gift." It is God's business to decide who has which ability. Consider, for example, the gift of faith. When we encounter believers struggling with doubt, we should not criticize them for what they lack; rather, we should encourage them toward greater faith.
Caution #3 — We must not place undue value on certain gifts. They are all important and of great necessity to the body. We are to discover which gifts the Spirit has given us and be content with His decision.
In our zeal to follow Christ, we can place undue emphasis on giftedness as a way to assess one's salvation, spiritual maturity, or importance in the church. Let go of preconceived ideas about the value of spiritual abilities, and celebrate the unique gifting of each individual believer.