“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” (1 Corinthians 12:1)
Paul had little tolerance for ignorance, in the true sense of the word, especially when the remedy for it was ignored. He uses a form of the phrase, “I would not have you to be ignorant” at least five times in his writings. In this chapter, he gives us several definitive points about spiritual gifts that leave us with little room for ignorance.
1. All of us have been given at least one spiritual gift with which to build up the Body of Christ (v.7).
2. There are different kinds of “gifts,” or abilities; “administrations,” or authority; and “operations,” or activities; but all are under the supervision of the Holy Spirit (vv.4-11).
3. God Himself dispenses the gifts, and one is no more important than another (vv.14-24).
In addition to these, we are able, I think, to draw some logical conclusions from these verses in order to make them workable in our lives. For one thing, it is up to God to show me what my gift is; and when He does, I should then be on the look out for where I might best use it. It would be easy to see what others are doing and just wedge my square gift, as it were, into their round ministry. But the fact that others are doing it (and especially if many are doing it) would seem to be an indication that perhaps God would rather use me to do something else. After all, if everyone did the same thing, only one thing would get done, right?
Natural ability is always a good place to look first, and this may very well indicate what your spiritual gift is. However, you cannot simply assume this. Personally, I have come to believe that my natural musical ability is only one aspect of an overall one that entails many aspects of communication. In each case, they are all a means to an end: building up the Body of Christ for the work of the Kingdom. One gift manifested in several operations, and at times, in a place of administration.
Proverbs 18:16 says that “a man’s gift maketh a room for him.” In other words, if you want to find your place in life, find out what your spiritual gift is, then use it. As Bob Jones, Sr. used to say:
“Success is finding God’s will for your life and doing it.”