For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? – 1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
In this passage, where Paul talks about our differences, I do not believe he is referring to physical differences; the things that we generally see as making us different. Instead, based on the greater context, I believe he is talking about our spiritual giftedness. God has called and equipped each of us to a place of service within the body of Christ. You might be a preacher, a teacher, an usher, a children’s worker, or any number of other places of service within the body.
In Corinth, and sometimes in our churches today, it is tempting to value some gifts as more significant than others. And to think more or less of yourself based on your gifts. And so Paul says to them, and to us, “Who is it who has given you the abilities that you have? Do you have anything of value that he did not give you? So, that being the case, why are you boasting about being a teacher, or speaking in tongues, or any other gift?”
As believers we are members together of one body, the body of Christ. Each of us are equipped by God to serve the body, under the Lordship of Christ. There is no place for boasting, or thinking to highly of yourself because of what God has given you. Nor, is there a place for thinking too little of yourself because your gifting does not seem to compare to some others.
Instead, let us be of one heart, one mind, and one spirit as we serve together. Rather than look at yourself, look to others. What can you do to encourage others within the body, and build them up. Use your giftedness to serve, not to be recognized.
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