“It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” – 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NLT)
When I was a kid, I was so keen on getting gifts I would often peel back the wrapping paper to get a peak at what was underneath (and I’ll bet you did, too). After all the gifts were unwrapped on Christmas morning, I would head outside to gather with my friends and compare gifts which, in Southern California, inevitably included a few new bikes, a skateboard or two and usually one remote-controlled car. However, it seemed to me that no matter how cool my gifts were, there was always some other gift my friends had that I envied. I guess they felt the same, because we usually ended up playing with the other person’s gifts more than our own.
What bothers me is how often I have this same attitude towards the gifts the Holy Spirit has wisely given to me. Instead of enjoying and showing gratitude for the gifts God has graciously given me, I find myself desiring “other” gifts – gifts I see in people that I, with self-proclaimed omniscience abounding, deem more successful than I am. I figure if I had their gifts then I, too, could have what they have: house, car, job, successfully published book, prestige. You know, all those items that are destined to perish.
However, by pursuing this attitude all I’ve really done is whine, tell God I don’t like my gifts and, in a not-so-subtle manner, suggest He made a mistake. Continue Reading