WARNING: GIFTS TO BE USED FOR INTENDED PURPOSE ONLY
- Key Verse
- What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Spiritual gifts are for encouraging other believers and not for self-edification.
ReflectionsGrowing up, I always thought there were some spiritual gifts that just seemed cooler than others. Who would want the gift of hospitality when you could miraculously heal instead? Why have the spiritual gift of faithfulness when speaking in tongues would cause people to stare at you in wonder and amazement? And therein lies the problem. Somewhere along the way, I began to think that spiritual gifts were about me and not about God or how He uses them.
The church in Corinth had the same issue. They had taken the gift of tongues and made it about the speaker. Furthermore, they had perverted its intended use. The gift of tongues historically has been understood to be speaking in a known language (Acts 2:1-13). Believers with the gift of tongues could speak in known languages despite the fact they did not know the language they were speaking! Awesome, right? It was intended to communicate God's truth to unbelievers in a supernatural way. (1 Corinthians 14:22)
The Corinthians, however, were using it as a means of calling attention to their spirituality. Paul clearly reminds us of the purpose of spiritual gifts in verse 26: building up one another. In addition, he reminds us that gifts should be exercised in a proper and orderly manner (verse 40). Spiritual gifts are not about us. They are always intended to encourage and edify the body of Christ.
If our focus is on obtaining certain gifts or being recognized for certain gifts, then we have missed the point. Gifts by their very nature are good. However, even good gifts can be used improperly.
Discussion Questions1. Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?
2. Are you using them for their intended purpose?
3. Who can you encourage today with your spiritual gifts?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
1 Corinthians 12-16 (July 2-6)
Read 1 Corinthians 12.
• What does the Spirit give each person?
• Does every person have the same gifts?
• Why is it important for each believer in Christ to use the gifts that God has given each of us?
• What example does chapter 12 use to show why we each need to use our gifts for God's glory?
Paste this link in your browser (http://wmcc.jointhejourney.com/page_/3912) to review some of the various spiritual gifts, as well as examples of the ways in which those gifts are manifested. As you look over the list of spiritual gifts, which ones do you feel are specifically gifts that you have?
Activity: Do this activity one night at dinner. On slips of paper, write: cover eyes, tie hands behind back, can't walk, can't talk (if you have more than four people, write some of them more than once). Have each person draw one of the slips of paper. This is what that person will do or not be able to do throughout the entire meal. To show the need for everyone to use their gifts, everyone will have to work together so that everyone can eat and get the food and drink they need.
After dinner, talk about what it meant for others to use what they had to help you. What a great picture of why God used the body working together as an example of what it means to bring Him great glory!