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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 Corinthians 12:1–11

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. (NRSV)

At a former job, my colleagues and I engaged in a Strength Finder assessment to identify our gifts and see how they were similar and different from each other. The facilitator of the session discussed that it can be more useful to work on strengthening our existing gifts instead of trying to learn a variety of new ones. This was interesting to me because I was expecting to notice gaps and try to fill in those gaps.

Of course it can be useful to enhance the skills we have through education, but today’s scripture reminds us that the Spirit nurtures specific gifts within each of us. We don’t need to be all things for all people. We don’t need to be profound charismatic superstars that accomplish everything. There’s nothing human about being gifted at everything. It’s beautiful to consider how the Spirit shapes us in the womb and through our life experiences, weaving in gifts that are for us.

What are your gifts? Many of us have been socialized by our culture to always look at our flaws. So take a moment to consider this question: how has the Spirit noticed you, shaped you, formed you? What are your gifts? What can you offer, what do you already offer this world for the sake of God’s vision on earth? How is the Spirit working in you for the greater good? How can you deepen the gifts already beaming out of you?

If you’re having a hard time answering these questions, reach out to one of the pastors at Fourth Church. We would love to help you find your spiritual gifts because the Spirit is working through you.

Holy Spirit, thank you for the gifts you shape in us. Help us identify them. Help us use them for the needs of this world. Amen.

Written by Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Pastoral Resident

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