Have you ever noticed that people in the church don’t all think the same way? When we become frustrated in our attempts to communicate with a fellow believer, we may begin to wonder whether something is wrong in our spiritual life. After all, aren’t we supposed to be a united body of Christ?
It turns out that the problem could be the result of spiritual gifting. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to every believer for the common good of the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). But unless we realize this, we may fail to appreciate the gifts of other believers. Then it’s easy to start harboring the opinion that everyone else should be like us.
For instance, someone with the gift of mercy might judge a believer with exhortation skills to be heartless—the exhorter may appear to value explaining the spiritual benefits of adversity over sympathizing with the hurting person. Yet both gifts are beneficial; used properly, they work together to help a sufferer see there’s hope in the hardship and comfort for endurance.
The root of division over spiritual gifts is self-focus, which can be displayed in two ways. If we think too lowly of our spiritual gift, we may become resentful or feel unimportant. If, on the other hand, we think too highly of our gift, we may believe it’s the most important one.
If you feel at odds with a fellow believer because of your differing approaches to issues in the church, stop and thank the Lord for that person and his gifting. Then pray that he will be used for the good of the fellowship and for God’s own glory.
Bible in One Year: Isaiah 40-42