There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
— 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NIV

At times, spiritual gifts can seem intangible and impractical. It feels really easy to overcomplicate or over-spiritualize these gifts, but at the core of it all, spiritual gifts are all about loving the people around us as God loves them. They are like tools that Holy Spirit gives us to more specifically join in with God’s heart for the world. All of us have different backgrounds regarding spiritual gifts—some of us have good experiences, some of us have confusing/negative experiences, and some of us have never experienced any of this at all. Wherever you might be on the spectrum, know that God believes it’s good to specifically give you spiritual gifts to love the people around you. 

Please read 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. These are two really wonderful chapters that address the heart of why spiritual gifts exist and how to use them well. It’s really beautiful that after the list of spiritual gifts there are several verses emphasizing the importance of unity and embracing the different parts of the body of Christ. God desires to reaffirm the importance and the power of having different parts of the body with different gifts stand together in unity. 

Spiritual gifts are not a measuring stick you use to compare where you stand next to other people. These gifts are ways God designed to bring heaven to earth for the good of those around you. Read the first few verses of chapter 13… You could have all the wonderful gifts in the world but if you don’t know how to love, it’s all a waste. God doesn’t want us to overcomplicate love; He gives us these gifts to love better.  

As we start the series on spiritual gifts, remember that they are given by God not earned by reaching a specific spiritual level. Say no to divisive comparisons and say yes to love expressed in power. You are not the exception of God’s desire to equip his church body to love well. Spend some time with God the next couple weeks asking Him how he has equipped you specifically to love well and live for the good of those around you.