By Pastor Larry Frazier
God’s spiritual gifts to you are just as unique as your fingerprints.
The Apostle Paul explains in 1st Corinthians 12:7-11, “ Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit. To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit. To another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
Since God the Holy Spirit is the Giver and Maintainer of the gifts, there is no need for jealous behavior among people—so you would think. However, sin always gets in the way of God’s perfect plans. Let’s consider three viewpoints about jealousy:
- CTV News reports the findings of Canadian research saying, “Babies can show signs of jealousy when they’re as young as three months old.”
- Another viewpoint from the Toronto Psychology & Wellness Group says, “Jealousy can help focus your goals [if there is] something you desire and it’s something that you can work towards.”
- In Galatians 5:21, jealousy is called envy and it is considered to be one of the acts of the sinful nature. All things considered, overcoming jealousy is one of the toughest lessons we have to learn since it shows up so early in life and can stay with us throughout life. The bottom line is if jealousy is to be controlled, God has to do it.
Even the Apostles of Jesus Christ received a rebuke from Him concerning their greatness and jealousy. Luke tells of an argument among the Apostles: “A dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.” Jesus warned them not to be like the rulers around them that exercised absolute authority over their subjects. He said, ‘But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves’.” (Luke 22:24-26). Jesus was talking about the strength in humility that a believer should display.
Jesus has come, so by believing in Him you have been rescued from sin and may live a full redeemed life, ever moving forward in grace. An African proverb says, “If you escaped from the lion’s den, why go back for your hat?” Jesus has said to all believers, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2nd Corinthians 12:9).
The Apostle Peter reminds us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (Peter 4:10). Another African proverb says, “If while climbing a tree you insist on going beyond the top, the earth will be waiting for you.”
It’s okay to be all you can be, but do it as if working for the Lord. Use your gift to go forward and do not go back to your sinful ways.