Valuable Gifts

June 13, 2017

“There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit… but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.”

My husband is gifted with a mind for analysis and improvement. When he sees an activity, plan, or idea he can almost immediately suggest something that could be done to enhance what he is seeing. What he does not do near as well is creating something from scratch. He is a chemist and spends a lot of time tweaking and analyzing products to improve their function. While he might be able to create from scratch, he prefers to “play” with what already exists and make it better. This ability of his has been invaluable for me as a pastor, but it is also a gift that usually goes unnoticed by the church. I often rely on his eyes to notice details I have missed, to move an idea into reality, and to help me think through what I am missing. I am far better at floating an idea and then working through the details with someone who notices the small things. In this way, our gifts complement rather than contradict one another.

In Corinthians, Paul reminds us that we are gifted in different ways, for different tasks and ministries, but we are all gifted for the same purpose – to share the good news of Christ Jesus. Your gifts and abilities matter, your contribution to the common good is uniquely yours. We know that not everyone can teach, not everyone can preach, not everyone has the gift of compassion, and not everyone is gifted in working with their hands. The beauty of the way that God has put us together is that we need one another; ministry, mission, and service are best done with others who can bring a diversity of experiences and gifts to the table.

It is vital to remember that we all have gifts, we all have abilities, we are all of us valuable. It is also vital to remember that none of us has all the answers, no one is gifted in all things. We are put together in the Body of Christ so that the purposes of God can be fulfilled. You are valuable to the body of Christ and there are others who are gifted in very different ways that are also valuable to the body. Together our gifts are so much more than any one of us alone. Thanks be to God.

About the Author
  • Edie Lenz is the pastor of First Reformed Church in Fulton, IL; a small town on the Mississippi River. She is married to Brian, a research chemist. They have one son, Caleb who is nine. Edie has been in ministry for 14 years, the last 7 have been at First. In addition to serving as pastor, Edie is the chaplain of the Fulton Fire Department, an all-volunteer service that provides fire and medical emergency care to the community of Fulton.

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