24 Sep God Has Gifted You
The first step to getting off “spiritual welfare” is to recognize that God has gifted you. Peter is explicit about this fact when he writes in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift…”. Peter envisions a situation where each and every Christian in the church has received a gift from God or, to say it negatively, Peter envisions a situation where there is not a single Christian in the church that has not received some gifting from God. Some erroneously think that the pastors, staff members, and small group leaders at their church are the ones gifted by God for ministry and they are only there to benefit from the gifting of their leaders. While the pastors, staff members, and small group leaders in a given church are gifted in particular ways for the roles with which they have been entrusted, every Christian, in every church, in every generation, on every continent is gifted by God to play some role in the life of their local body. Based on what Peter says here, there should be no unemployed Christians because every Christian “has received a gift”!
Some of us may readily acknowledge the truth that we have been gifted by God, but think our gift is unnecessary, like another tie on Father’s Day or a pair of socks on your birthday. You can clearly see this is not the case from a text like 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul says that every part of the body is absolutely necessary, but also consider what this line of thinking communicates about God. If God is the source of the gift, then what would it say about Him if the gift He has given you was unnecessary? It would communicate that God really didn’t know what He was doing when He gifted you and that He really didn’t know what your church needed when He gifted you. However, if every Christian is gifted by God, and God knows exactly what is needed in every church, then every Christian’s gift is needed in their local church. God has not gifted you the way you are by mistake, but in light of a real need that exists in your local church.
Some might say, “but the gifts tend to be so divisive”. While it is true that some in the church do arrogantly elevate themselves above others because of their gifting, they have no grounds to do so one basis of what Peter says here. Peter tells us that we have “received” the gifts from God and if we “received” the gift then we did not “conceive” the gift. The gift you have received did not originate with you, but with God and, for whatever reason He saw fit, He gave that gifting to you. This means there is absolutely no Biblical ground for arrogantly elevating ourselves above others in such a way as to create division. It does not mean there are not differing roles in the church, but it does mean that, even as a senior leader in the church, there is no room for arrogant and prideful egocentricism based on how you are gifted.
Understanding that God has gifted you with a gift that is needed in your local church is the first step to getting off “spiritual welfare”.