The Big Question
the big question
with cynthia l. simmons
Q: How do spiritual gifts work together in the church?
GREAT QUESTION. WE AS INDIVIDUALS EACH HAVE AT LEAST ONE OR MORE SPIRITUAL
GIFT, such as serving, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, discernment, helps, faith and miracles.
The beauty is these gifts are not only for us as individuals; they are also for the body of Christ.
So as we learn how to flow in our own giftings, we must allow others to flow through their own giftings so we can better serve one another.
Let’s get creative and imagine what would happen if some of these gifts came together for an early breakfast one Sunday morning.
The first person to enter the Gifting Café is a certain Miss Teacher. She’s spent hours researching the Bible lesson she will soon share in her Sunday School class later in the morning.
As she sips her coffee, in walks Miss Mercy. Miss Teacher invites her to join her, then shares the biblical wisdom she will soon present to her class. As Miss Mercy listens, her heart begins to ache.
Miss Mercy argues that these truths Miss Teacher wants to share will surely wound the class’s new believers, who have only recently escaped a terrible past. Miss Mercy encourages Miss Teacher to alter her lesson to spare the new believer’s feelings.
Miss Teacher is appalled that Miss Mercy would not want the Word to speak to her class. She explains that after all, the Scriptures formed the basis for our doctrine, and we cannot allow individual reactions to prevent us from giving the whole counsel of God.
As their conflict builds, Miss Exhortation hurries to join them. She notes their distraught faces and listens as they each share their arguments. While Exhortation loves the truths Miss Teacher shared, she understands Miss Mercy’s concerns that the new believers will hear these truths in judgment, instead of in in love. That’s when Miss Discernment slips into the discussion.
Miss Discernment hears all the arguments then explains that each of her gifted friends have part of the answer. Of course, Miss Teacher must teach the whole counsel of God. Miss Mercy must be there to point out that Christ forgives our sins and covers us with his grace. Miss Exhortation is also needed because she can encourage the new believers to continue their journey to maturity in Christ, in the love of Christ.
So, the lesson is that each of these gifts are not in conflict, and can in fact work together to serve the body of Christ. “…we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5, NASB).