ODJ: Gifts United

May 11, 2018 

READ: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 

The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you” (v.21).

In the Disney movie Inside Out, the internal emotions of Riley, the protagonist, are personified as distinct characters. Everyone loves Joy, who is given every opportunity to be the dominant emotion. Joy attempts to shun Sadness and even make her nonexistent. Unfortunately, Joy’s efforts to prevent Sadness from being expressed result in a near total shutdown of Riley’s feelings, for Sadness had a vital role to play in Riley’s overall wellbeing.

The apostle Paul understood the importance of uplifting the diverse gifts that make up the whole of the church. When members of the church at Corinth began to express preferences for particular gifts, he wrote, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. . . . A spiritual gift is given to each of us so that we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:4,7). He then added, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” (v.12).

We too may view certain gifts or talents as superior to others. But the resulting pride or envy only ends up making all gifts or talents less effective. For, as Paul wrote, “How strange a body would be if it only had one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ The head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’ In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary” (vv.19-22).

The body of Christ needs all the spiritual gifts of its individual members. We have many roles to play as we communicate a single message of salvation. As the Holy Spirit leads, may we gladly use our gifts to proclaim the glory of God.

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Job 42:1-17

Read Ephesians 4:5-16 for further insight into the nature and purpose of spiritual gifts. 
What has God given you to offer to others within and outside the church? How can you use your gifts to more effectively glorify God and serve them?