Serving not Spectacle
There are over 270 gifts mentioned in the New Testament alone. Due to this fact, it is our belief that “spiritual ministry” is the best translation for “gifts” in Paul’s letter. Certain gifts might “drive” us, but they can be used in millions of different ways. This changes how we view our “gifts.” Rather than viewing them as our “possessions”— that we own them for our use—we now see that God gives and takes gifts away graciously as he desires, so that we can fulfill the ministries/services he has called us to at any given point in time. This encourages a person to hold a posture of SERVANT rather than of ENTITLEMENT. Rather than a person looking to their gifts to determine what the needs of the people are—which is a more of an inward and selfish approach—the person now looks outward at the needs around them to determine how they can best serve the body together as a ministry.
Consider for a moment how many of the overt displays of “spiritual gifts” today produce spectacles not servants. New Wave spiritual teaching tells us to keep searching for the next endowment of power for ourselves. Give me, give me, give me! We have assumed that the overwhelming generosity of God is like a supernatural PEZ dispenser—doling out sweet after sweet to satisfy our belly.
It is our opinion that this individual-ability-alcoholism has become more an addiction of the flesh than a catalyst for vibrant service, sacrifice, love, and obedience to Jesus. Consider today’s verses on power, and consider God’s intended desired ends for power. Is the power of God something that is overt, flamboyant, obnoxiously demanding and loud, or is it something far more humble—like a cross?