There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 6 (New International Version)
“Use Your Gifts for God’s Glory”
Just this past week, many of us gathered to celebrate and commemorate the highly anticipated day of our Savior’s birth. In conjunction with the Christmas season, many of us also gather with family and friends to participate in the tradition of exchanging gifts with those we care for and love. During this year’s Christmas celebration, I started to reflect on the unique experiences that I had with my father around this time of the year.
Like many other families, my family would always participate in the tradition of gathering on Christmas Day to eat and give gifts. However, each year, there was a peculiar element to our gift-giving time. It never failed that, as we would exchange gifts, everyone would open their gifts immediately in front of everyone, everyone except my father. For some reason, my father would always receive a host of gifts but just set them to the side. This was strange to me because my family and I would spend hours trying to select the perfect gifts for him, and they would end up staying in their bags and wrapping paper for days, weeks, and/or months. We would buy him new, pristine items, but they would go unopened and unused. The sad truth is that we sometimes treat our own spiritual gifts just like that! We leave our God-given gifts unopened and underutilized.
Here in 1 Corinthians, Paul addresses the issue of spiritual gifts. Paul’s words teach us that God has not given us spiritual gifts merely to have them left undiscovered and unused. God has imbued us with gifts to be used to uplift and serve our churches, our families, and our fraternity. This beckons the following questions: Did we leave our gifts unused in 2023? Did we fully maximize the gifts God has instilled in us this past year? Did the communities in which we reside benefit from the gifts God has given to us? If not, God is calling on us to use our gifts for God’s glory in the year ahead. Let us commit to using all our gifts for God’s glory!
Brother (Minister) Christopher A. McCroy
8th District Chaplain