“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord … the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good … All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.”
— 1 Corinthians, chapter 12
Each of us has a gift that we share with others, our own families and the world beyond our own four walls—a service we provide through the willing exercise of our God-given gift. None of these gifts is more, or less, important than another.
Even the seemingly simplest act of service—which might involve nothing that outwardly shines as a “gift”—is motivated by a keen willingness to serve. That openness of the heart is, in itself, a powerful gift.
A clear example of how every gift of ourselves given to others is important—and not more or less so than another’s—is seen through recalling the old-fashioned wagon wheels of the 18th and 19th centuries. Each of our gifts is like a spoke on one of those wheels. And each spoke is connected to the same wheel hub, just as our gifts come from the same Holy Spirit. Remove even a single spoke and the wheel is weakened and then one day breaks and the journey is delayed or jeopardized entirely. So every spoke matters equally. Just as every gift that God and Christ have given us to share is precious, a blessing to others, and to ourselves.
Our gifts, to look at them another way, are notes that together create melody and song, notes that have all been arranged by the same Composer and without which—even one missing note—the song would not be the same.
Look at our own hands. One of our fingers cannot pick even a penny up off the sidewalk. But when our fingers work together we can take a sword and pound it into a plowshare.
God gives each of us our own unique gifts so that we will work together for the greater good. The more we work together, the greater the good.
Nobody has all the gifts they will need to live a full and truly happy life. And if we did, how terrible to be alone with so many gifts and nobody with whom to share them.