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How does God distribute spiritual gifts?

We are told in 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 and 1 Corinthians 14:12-13 that God (and not ourselves) selects which gifts will be given to us. These verses also imply that not everyone will be endowed with a particular talent or ability. Corinthian believers should strive for the more edifying spiritual gifts such as prophesying, rather than coveting or longing after the less edifying ones, according to Paul (speaking forth the word of God for the building up of others). After all, why would Paul encourage them to be intensely desirous of the "higher" gifts if they had already received everything that was to be given to them and had no further possibility to obtain these greater things? It may lead one to believe that, just as Solomon sought God's wisdom in order to be a good king over God's people, God will grant us the gifts we require in order to be of greater service to His church as well.

Following that, it remains true that these talents are dispersed according to God's will, rather than our own. In the event that every Corinthian expressed a strong desire for a certain gift, such as prophecy, God would not grant that gift to everyone merely because they expressed a strong desire for it. So, if He did, who would be responsible for performing all of the other roles in the body of Christ?

In one respect, God's command is accompanied by his enablement, and this is very obvious. If God orders us to do something (such as witness, love the unlovely, disciple the nations, and so on), He will provide the means for us to carry out that commandment. Even if some Christians are not as good at evangelism as others, God commands all Christians to witness and disciple others (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). Whether or whether we have the spiritual gift of evangelism, we are all called to evangelize our communities. A motivated Christian who works to learn the Word and develop his teaching abilities may end up being a better teacher than a Christian who may have the spiritual gift of teaching but who does not use the talent to its full potential.

Is it true that we get spiritual gifts when we accept Christ, or that they must be developed through our relationship with God? The answer is "yes" and "no." Spiritual gifts are normally given at the time of salvation, but they must also be nurtured through spiritual growth in order to be effective. Will your heart's passion be pursued and developed into a spiritual gift, or will it remain undeveloped? Is it possible for you to seek after specific spiritual gifts? One verse in First Corinthians 12:31 appears to suggest that this is a possibility: "sincerely desire the best gifts." You can seek a spiritual talent from God and be enthusiastic in your pursuit of it by attempting to enhance your abilities in that area. Furthermore, you will not get a specific spiritual gift if it is not God's intention for you to do so, no matter how hard you try to get your hands on one. God is exceedingly wise, and He knows which gifts you will use to be the most productive for His kingdom in the future.

What matters is that, regardless of how much we have been blessed with one spiritual talent or another, we are all invited to grow in a variety of areas that are stated in the lists of spiritual gifts: to be hospitable; to demonstrate acts of mercy; to serve one another; to evangelize; and so on. We can expect God to bring glory to His name, to build His church, and to reward us as we endeavor to serve Him out of love for the aim of building people up for His glory in the process (1 Corinthians 3:5-8, 12:31–14:1). When we put our trust in God, He promises to provide us the desires of our hearts as we delight in Him (Psalm 37:4-5). This would almost certainly include preparing us to serve Him in a way that will provide us with meaning and fulfillment.


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