In the 2002 movie Spider Man, there is a scene in which Peter Parker, Spider Man’s alter ego, is arguing with his uncle Ben about some personal struggles Peter is going through. Parker had very recently acquired his skyscraper scaling, web-slinging skills and subsequently was trying to figure out who he was and how he should be using his new “gifting”. In this scene, Uncle Ben is attempting to guide his arachnoid nephew with some sage wisdom and famously says this line, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
This past Sunday, Pastor Kevin taught on the gifting, or you could say “powers”, that God has given each of his kids. Kevin began his sermon by reminding us that every gift matters. It would be easy for someone who has a gift that might be used in a “behind the scenes” sort of way, might think that their gift is not as important as someone whose gifting is more “out in front” like teaching or music leading. The apostle Paul however says that just like a physical body is not complete without the nose, so a church body is not complete unless every gift is represented and is being used (1 Cor. 14-22,27 NLT).
Kevin also said that though the gifts God gives to people are exciting and powerful, they do not matter unless their use is accompanied by one of the most Christ-like virtues, love. An entire chapter in 1 Corinthians is dedicated to explaining this (1 Cor. 13 NLT). Paul says in this chapter that if he were to speak every language, if he knew the future, if he understood every mystery, or if he gave away everything that he had to those in need, but didn’t have love for others, all those grand gifts would be of no good.
Kevin ended his teaching by stating that a person’s gifts are not just for them but are intended to be used for the well-being of others. In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul writes that the greatest gifts are those that everyone can be edified by. In other words, the abilities that God gives are to be stewarded well. You could also say, that with these great powers, comes great responsibility.
Questions for Reflection
Read 1 Cor. 12:4-7. For what reason does God give people spiritual gifts? Why do you think God gifts people differently? How would it be discouraging to the Church if people didn’t use their gifts? How can we be sure that we don’t neglect our spiritual gifts?
Pastor Kevin said that you don’t have to have all the gifts to be the best version of who God made you to be. If we complain about not being as gifted as someone else, what are we saying to God? Why does lacking certain gifts aid our relationships with others?
Why is the Gospel of Jesus the greatest reminder of what love in action looks like?