Everyone in Corinth had a gift yes but that was not enough. They had to know and prove whose gift was the greatest and whose sphere of influence was the most important. This brought chaos to the church so much so that Paul had to write and remind them of where the focus was.
I guess I will be mentioning this severally. As individuals, we have to first be secure in our identity in Christ. Our relationship with Christ has to be personal first before it can become cooperate. This is important because when we are completely aware of the fact that it is me that Jesus loves, that He died on that cross for me, that He has a good plan for my life, that He brought me to this earth for a purpose, that He has given me a sphere to influence, then I will be secure in my identity in Christ such that I will not be intimidated by what other people have been called to.
The church in Corinth had forgotten the bigger picture. They were busy trying to outdo and out-class each other that they forgot why the Holy Spirit had given them the gifts. It is always for the glory of God.
CONNECTION POINT : When we lose sight of why we have been given our spheres to influence and to what end when we lose sight of the goal, it is easy to start looking at each other and comparing ourselves with ourselves.
Before long we will be devouring each other because we have lost sight of who it is that we serve. Paul writes in Hebrews 12:2→‘looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…’ Somebody once said that when foxes lose sight of their prey they turn on each other. We have all been given our spheres to influence by God for His glory. Our focus should indeed be on Christ. You may want to check out John 21:21-22
The analogy used by Paul to illustrate the importance of unity in diversity is that of the human body. This is the most excellent analogy ever.
A body is made up of visible parts and non-visible parts. Yet we all know that without the unity and seamless interconnection of the various parts, the body cannot function. Actually, when your tooth, which is but a small part of your body, aches, you shut down because of the pain. EVERY PART HAS SIGNIFICANCE. Nothing is less than the other. Why? Because it originates from God and has purpose One of the biggest problems is undermining your value. The other is overestimating it.
When you undermine your value, chances are you will want to be someone else and in Paul’s analogy in 1 Corinthians 12 you an ‘eye’ will always want to be a ‘hand’ because you might feel like the hand is getting all the attention. In your quest to be a hand, you will fail miserably because you were not built to be a hand and you will leave a gap in the eye department and the body will be severely impaired.
When you overestimate your value, your tendency will be to bring others down, to shoot them down always and project yourself. It then becomes hard to listen to others and even harder to honor others and see their value when in fact without them certainly you would not shine as you do.
We all want to be visible. To be the ones on the limelight, getting all the glory but the truth is some of us God has called to be on the inside, to help the body work from the inside. The heart is not visible but without it the body is dead. Our spheres might not be in the limelight but that does not mean that they are any less important. Stephen was but an usher but he walked in his sphere and he was able to influence the territory that God had given him See Acts 6: 1-8
CONNECTION POINT: We are a body; one body with different parts connected together to lift each other up and to ultimately glorify God.