No, You May Not Have Whichever Spiritual Gift You Want.

There are many different gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to individual Christians in order to allow them to edify and minister to other believers in Christ. Some of the specific gifts that have been mentioned in the text that we have been studying are: “message of wisdom,” “message of knowledge,” “faith,” “gifts of healing,” “miraculous powers,” “prophecy,” “distinguishing between spirits,” “speaking in all different kinds of tongues,” and “the interpretation of tongues” (I Corinthians 12:8-10). Those of us who have been Christians for a long time know that some of these gifts are more popular than others. There are the gifts that everyone wants to have, and then there are the gifts that seemingly no one cares about. However, as the Apostle Paul says, we do not get to choose which gifts we get:

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. (I Corinthians 12:11 NIV).

Sadly, I think there are some people in the church today who are not happy with this arrangement. We naturally want the more “exciting” gifts for ourselves, and do not properly value the more “boring ones.” But we need to submit to God’s leading in this, and to not pretend to have gifts that we do not possess. The purpose of God giving these gifts to us is not to flatter our egos or to establish who is “most important” in church. Rather, God gives us these gifts so that we can use them to provide comfort and help to others in our church. Spiritual gifts were not given to us so that we would be noticed, but to give us power whereby we can demonstrate more fully God’s love towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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