20 years ago at my first church, a local Assembly of God pastor declared to his church that anyone who did not speak in tongues was not “filled with the Holy Spirit” and therefore could not be in leadership.  Half the church left in protest, and a great majority of them joined our church.  This influx of charismatics could have threatened the very culture of our church had our congregation not welcomed them with open arms and open minds.  We did not turn Pentecostal, but we did try to make them welcome with a freer mood in worship.

Spiritual gifts have been one of those topics in modern American church history that has divided churches and even caused denominational splits.  Which gifts were gifts and which weren’t, how many there were, and how they were ranked caused untold arguments.  And in some circles still do today.

This listing, along with others in scripture, was not meant to be an exhaustive list of spiritual gifts, but rather a sampling of gifts that God has given His people.  Music can be a spiritual gift, as can carpentry and stage presence.  Yet none of them were mentioned in Paul’s list.  Why?  Because what makes a gift spiritual is not the gift but the source and use of it.  Any ability given by God and used to build up the Kingdom is a spiritual gift.  And since all good gifts come from God, the real issue at hand is how a gift is used.

One person is excellent with numbers, but uses that ability to make themselves money for their own comfort and security.  Not a spiritual gift.  The same person using that gift for a church or to make money for charity is expressing a spiritual gift.

What gifts do you have?  How are you using them; for God and His people, or for yourself?  How might God be calling you today to use one of your gifts spiritually?

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