Just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
As we have studied spiritual gifts this week, you may have been thinking, “I am trying to get through a difficult marriage,” or, “I am trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage next month. Why should I get excited about spiritual gifts?” Let me give you three practical benefits of understanding and using your spiritual gift.
Number one: discovering your spiritual gift helps you discover your unique purpose in life. If you are a Christian, God has not only saved you; He has also connected you to His eternal purpose. And when you understand what your spiritual gift is, you will experience real joy. Remember, the Greek word for “gift” comes from a Greek root that means “joy.” You will never experience real, lasting joy in your life until you discover your gift and know you are a part of God’s eternal plan. Discovering your gift gives you a sense of purpose in your life.
Number two: understanding your spiritual gift helps you to appreciate other people. Whenever I told a friend of mine, “I am having problems with this deacon or this staff member, and I do not understand why he or she does this,” my friend would say to me, “Robert, repeat these words after me: everyone is not like me.” We think everybody ought to think like we do, react like we do, and have the same values we do. But God has created us differently. There is diversity in the body of Christ. And because we have different desires and abilities, it means not everybody is going to want to go on a mission trip. Not everybody is going to get excited about knocking on doors to share the gospel. Not everybody is going to get excited about building a house for Habitat for Humanity. Just because you do not enjoy being involved in every ministry does not mean there is something deficient in your spiritual life. The fact is, different gifts give us different interests and abilities, and that means we ought to appreciate one another rather than insisting that everyone be like us.
Number three: using your spiritual gift energizes the church. Your church will be handicapped unless you as a member of the body start using your unique gift. But here is the flip side: not only does the church need you to exercise your gift, but you need the benefit that comes from other believers using their gifts to minister to you. Discovering and using your spiritual gift is the key to sustaining our spiritual vitality as members of the body of Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “You and Your Spiritual Gift” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.