This is only one of several places where spiritual gifts are discussed. As Paul tells us, a spiritual gift is from God given to us to help others. We don’t all get the same gifts, God gives us the gift (or gifts) he wants for us. Paul needed to corral in the Corinthians because they were misusing their gifts with showy displays of spirituality. They were disrupting worship gatherings by drawing attention to themselves. Paul has to be careful in his cautioning so as to not dispute the authenticity of their experience. It was also important for them to remember who initiated the gift giving, it was God and not themselves.
The list of gifts in this passage is not complete as there are other Biblical references to gifts as well (see also later in this chapter verses 28-30; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-13). I think the best take away of all is that the difference between a spiritual gift and a talent would be to say that a spiritual gift is meant to help others, that is, to be for the benefit of others. God’s master plan here is to equip his people with the gifts needed to help each other, to further the kingdom, to bring glory and honor to himself. We are to use our gifts as God designed and not ignore them. Just as we don’t leave a birthday gift unopened, we should not leave our spiritual gift unused.
Do you know what your spiritual gift is? Over the years, I have taken several spiritual gift surveys to see what my gift is to make sure I am using it. If you haven’t done the same, my husband created one years ago, and there are also online tests to take. The questions will generally ask you to rate your experiences in different situations. A good indication of what we are gifted with comes from what we find enjoyable. Your spiritual gift will not be something you detest.
But again, use your gift to help others! God is counting on us! How are you using your spiritual gift(s)? Can you be doing more with your gift?
Let’s pray. Lord thank you for bestowing on me the gifts you chose for me. I ask you to help me find opportunities to use them to help others. Open the doors, and give me the courage and excitement to walk through. I long to be your servant and wait on you and your perfect timing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.