1My friends, you asked me about spiritual gifts. 2I want you to remember that before you became followers of the Lord, you were led in all the wrong ways by idols that cannot even talk. 3Now I want you to know that if you are led by God's Spirit, you will say that Jesus is Lord, and you will never curse Jesus.
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. 5There are different ways to serve the same Lord, 6and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do.
7The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. 8Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. 9To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick 10or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God's Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. 11But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.
The Corinthians had written to ask Paul about “spiritual gifts” (v 1). Whenever we talk about people’s “gifts,” we run into two dangers. One is that by comparing ourselves with others we may think that they are much more gifted than we are – so we become discouraged. The other is just the opposite: we may become proud of our own gifts and look down on others. So…Paul helps us avoid these mistakes.
Don’t despise yourself: you are a gifted person. Here are three things that are true of you and of every other Christian:
You are converted. You are no longer like the people in verse 2.
You have the Holy Spirit. Everyone who says “Jesus is Lord” – and means it – has the Spirit of God (v 3).
You have some gift. Your job is not to invent or manufacture a gift, a spiritual talent. It is to find out which one God’s Spirit has given you (v 7), and use it.
Don’t despise others: they are gifted too. Every Christian is (v 11). Some of the gifts are mentioned in verses 8-10, but there are many others. Learn to recognize them and rejoice in them.
Lord, guard me from thinking too much of myself – or too little. Amen.