The Source of the Gift
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
In our passage today, Paul answers a fundamental question often asked by believers regarding gifts, “Why don’t I have such and such gift?” Previously Paul had answered, “Because the body works better if we have balance in the distribution of gifts.” Now he makes a very simple statement of clarification, “The gifts we have are according to the grace given us.”
When I was a little boy I wanted to fly like Superman. I tied a pillow case around my neck, and ran around the house with my arms stretched high above my head pretending to fly. I even tried jumping off things (the stairs, sofa, out of a tree, the roof of the house) thinking maybe I just needed to be a little higher in order to take flight. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fly. I got a number of bumps and bruises, but flying wasn’t one of “super-powers” God chose to give me.
We know — flying, stopping a bullet, or running faster than a speeding train — are not the type of spiritual gifts Paul is speaking about today. However, it does illustrate the point that gifts are just that, they are “gifts”. We don’t earn them and specialized training for them doesn’t help — all we’re going to be left with are bumps, bruises, and disappointment. Why? Because it is by God’s grace alone we receive gifts.
Are you a little bruised and battered today? Take a long hard look at your life, are you trying to be someone you are not? Confusion and disappointment are the by-products of a life led chasing dreams, rather than fulfilling our aptitudes. What are your God-given talents and abilities? What do you continue to pursue? Is the gift you want the one the same as God has given? Is it His intention and plan for your life? The lie of this world is — “Anything is possible if you want it bad enough!” That simply is not true. If it were, I would be flying right now, just like Superman.