Have you ever considered yourself as gifted? According to scripture, you most certainly are! According to passages like Romans 12:3-8, all Christians have been gifted for service in some way, and these gifts flow from God himself. You have been empowered by God for a special service in the church.
Once you accept that you are gifted, the next step is to take your place in the bigger whole. You see, we haven’t all been given the same gift by God. Instead, he has spread a diversity of gifts among his people, and these gifts are meant to work together. As Paul says in verses 4-6:
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
A body has many parts that function together as a single whole. In the same way, we Christians have many gifts that are meant to function together as a single whole. Here’s the thing you absolutely must understand about this body imagery: without you the body is incomplete. God himself has made you an indispensable part of the body. You take your place in the body by exercising the gift God has given you.
So, what might keep us from exercising the gifts that God himself has given? Romans 12 focuses on the problem of pride. When we become prideful, we hold ourselves above the rest of the body rather than humbly taking our place within it. Sometimes this means that we think we are better than everyone else because our gift is somehow superior. Other times it means that we resent not receiving a different gift. Maybe we are gifted for service, which is often behind the scenes. Our pride demands that we be in the spotlight, though. In these moments, we become so focused on the gift that we don’t have that we neglect the gift that we do have. The remedy for pride? Humbly take your place!
On the other side of things, some Christians think to little of themselves. They think that other people have better gifts, which means that they personally don’t have a significant contribution to make. Or, they don’t consider themselves gifted at all. These folks hide or hang back rather than embracing with joy the gift that God has given them. The remedy for hanging back? Humbly take your place!
God has made us Christians into a body. 1 Corinthians 12:27 goes so far as to call us the body of Christ. Imagine, God has gifted us to somehow be the continuing presence of Christ in this world. What a high calling and honor! But here’s the thing – the body only functions fully when all of its parts contribute and work together. That’s why Paul is so adamant in Romans 12 that each Christian exercise his or her gift to the full capacity.
You are gifted, and you are necessary. We need you to take your place. If you don’t, the consequences move past just you. Not only will you fall short of who God is calling you to be; so also will the rest of the body. Today, consider how God has gifted you to serve the church. Have you taken your place?