Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
There once was an Animal School in the which the curriculum was flying, climbing, running, and swimming. 
The duck was an OK flyer, and a good swimmer; bad runner though. He (through the urging of the staff) dropped swimming to focus on his running. Soon his swimming was average, so no one (especially the teachers) felt threatened by the duck's swimming ability. 
The Eagle was a problem student. Climbing, he beat everyone but cheated, and had to be disciplined. Ultimately, he was expelled for non-participation in swimming class. 
Mr Rabbit excelled in running but was inadequate in other areas, and after being forced to take make-up classes in swimming, he dropped out due to stress. 
Mr. Turtle failed in everything since the grading was done on a curve, but following analysis, it was decided he would be better off without his shell. He was, until Mr. Horse stepped on him. 
All in all, the faculty was pleased with the school, and the progress made. There were no real success stories, but all were focusing on their weaknesses and no one was threatened. (author unknown) 
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch. This happens in our churches all the time. We try to plug square pegs in round holes. we see a need (according to our thoughts) and plug people in there. More often than not, Spiritual Gifts are a point of contention (where everyone focuses on everyone else's weaknesses), when they should be a source of unity. 
How do we arrive at unity? By understanding the following. 1) God hath placed the members in the body each one, as it hath pleased Him. 2) We all (whether we recognize it or not) have Spiritual Gifts; most often multiple or combinations. Think of them as college courses where you will have a major, and several minors. 3) These gifts are diverse, and no one has them all. 1st Cor. 12 and Romans 12. 4) They are not for YOU! Get over yourself. "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." 1st Cor. 12:7. This means to benefit the work of the ministry, the body, and every one but yourself. 5) We are to use these gifts to bring glory to God. "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1st Peter 4:10 
How does this look in practice? A woman (with the gift of mercy) in the church comes to the treasurer and says: "Help! I know a family whose propane tank is empty. They have three kids. It's Friday night, and if they don't get some gas immediately, they will be cold all weekend!". The Treasurer (with the gift of administration) replies: "I'm on it. I have to get two deacons to sign off on it, and I'll cut a check immediately. I have been mandated by the Church to follow this protocol, but I'm hurrying." The woman screams: "What's wrong with you? Didn't you hear me? This is urgent!". He replies: "But in order to be a faithful steward, this is what our church has decided must take place". 
Question: Which one is right? Answer ------ Both are. They are both operating under the Spiritual gifting they have been granted. The only time it's a problem, is when we don't recognize and respect that gifting. The solution is found in Point One above, and might be translated thus. Are you ready to square your shoulders to God and tell Him He made a mistake by placing "old so n so" in the position he/she is in? I didn't think so. Recognizing other's Spiritual Gifting should bring unity, not strife.
God bless. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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