Monday, March 2, 2009

1 Corinthians, Chapter 12

This chapter of 1 Corinthians has a lot of meaning to me. For about the past two years I have tried to focus on what my spiritual gifts are and how best to use them. One of my greatest struggles is finding a place in which I can totally focus my energies. I feel like throughout my life I have tried a number of pursuits, but I could never fully focus myself on one. One needs only to look at my high school yearbook to see that. I was, at one time or another, a member of the football and basketball teams, the band, Drama Club, chess club, Mayor's Youth Advisory Board, a DARE role model, Honor Society, and probably a few others that I have since forgotten. I was good in many of these roles, but never truly great.

That is what life can be like if we are searching for our spiritual gifts. Paul describes what those are in this chapter. When we find those spiritual gifts and dedicate ourselves to them, we fill our specific purpose that God put us on this earth for. It's is a spiritual comfort zone where everything just feels right when we are doing that role. To some it can be teaching. To others, it is serving.

14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body. – 1 Corinthians 12:14-20

None of us can fulfill God's purpose alone. Within the greater church everyone has a role. I find it funny that this idea was reinforced last season with my church's softball team. I had played with them for years, but I was more of a utility guy. I never had a definite position until need put me at First base. In the first game there I had a really good defensive game. I had the ability to stretch and make plays that no one else had exhibited. The position also negated my liabilities in the field (read: I can run down fly balls, but I have an awful throwing arm). By the end of the season I had found my role and I really enjoyed playing. This is what finding one's spiritual gifts is like. It is a sweet spot achieved when serving the role God intends for us.

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