I've been attending a Wednesday evening Bible study for the past couple of months. We have been studying from Romans 12 the verses which discuss our spiritual gifts.
Scripture tells us when we are followers of Jesus, we are empowered with a gift or talent, and we are to use that gift, along with others who are using their gift, for the building up of the Body of Christ. Those verses which describe and explain these gifts are located in verses 3-8 of Romans 12.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Throughout our study, in addition to learning about spiritual gifts, we have also been determining which gift we each have, and how we might use them for the benefit of everyone. Remember, it's God's Word which tells us, " For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. Some call these "motivational gifts." They are the things which make us tick, the motivation which leads us to functioning in the areas of the gifts.
I have studied and prayed about this subject often, but recently I came up with some questions. I do not doubt the direction of the Scriptures in explaining and directing us to exercise our gifts. I believe the Bible is true in telling me about their meaning and purpose. However, the question I have is along the line about the use of them.
I have been a Christian for lots of years but do not recall anyone ever encouraging a church full of people to function in the area of one of these gifts which we have been given. I have detected those in the church which have a specific gift and use it, but have never seen these gifts used by then entire church family.
I do wish to stress, from what I have learned, those who have been given the gifts are expected to use them. They are not specifically to be used just for our work in the church, but as gifts of motivation, are to be used in every area of our lives. I can see the Apostle Paul's point in warning us about thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought. It's not a contest. Some may seem to have a more important gift than others, but even those with the seemingly insignificant gift should be using it because all the gifts are necessary in the Body of Christ.
This past Wednesday evening, we concluded our study, but also determined we would continue to seek ways we could become more effective as we use our gifts. I also encouraged the group to discuss this important topic with our church leaders, advising them of our study, and the desire to grow in the areas of the gifts. The more I read the verses from Romans, the more I want to encourage everyone to be more determined to learn their gift, and use it for the whole Body, and to glorify God.