One Enormous, Apathetic Church Shrug


The Church is filled with people who have all kinds of gifts, given to them by God Himself. I’m not talking about natural gifts like the ability to sing, play the piano or do math, although those gifts, and many more like them, are certainly present. I’m talking about the gifts of the Spirit, which He distributes to each one as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11). We admire people who have natural gifts, but we’re at sea when it comes to how we regard the gifts of the Spirit or what to do with them.

1 Corinthians 12—the verses just above the verse we just read, verse 11, lists these gifts, and they give us the willies:

1.  The word of wisdom

2.  The word of knowledge

3.  Faith

4.  Healing

5.  The working of miracles

6.  Prophecy

7.  The ability to distinguish between spirits

8.  Various kinds of tongues

9.  Interpretation of tongues

Did I mention that these gifts are given by God Himself?

I wonder if it is offensive to the Lord when we so casually disregard gifts that He created and supplies; gifts that He, in His great love, has designed specifically for us.

Ho-hum. The response of most of the Western church to these precious gifts that God gives has been one enormous, heaven-saddening, apathetic church shrug.

Because we’re so clueless about these gifts, even though we consistently tell believers, as we should, to read and study Scripture, we just simply ignore passages like this or ascribe them to a dusty, historical milieu. Out of sight, out of mind. Scripture be, uh, darned. If we exhort Christians to know the Bible and meditate on it, because within its pages are the God-breathed, inerrant written words of almighty God Himself, the only absolute truth available to mankind, why do we ignore so much of it?

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