“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV)
The church at Corinth grew from a city whose population was diverse. It was a major shipping port so there were people from all over the world and from numerous religions. It probably never suffered from the homogeneity that many of our modern churches deal with. Each person from each distinct cultural group lent something different to the rich cultural background of the church. That being said, when you have that diverse a group, you have a wide variety of methods to accomplish things. I have no doubt that some of the problems the church at Corinth had came from cultural differences. In this section, Paul began talking about spiritual gifts. There’s a common understanding about spiritual gifts, or should I say misunderstanding, that some spiritual gifts are more important than others. As Paul dealt with that misunderstanding, he reminded people that although there was a lot of diversity in backgrounds and in giftedness in the church, there was still only one God who not only works in all people, He distributed gifts to people in the church so that all may benefit.
Diversity by itself isn’t a strength. Diversity is a strength when people realize that different ways of doing things aren’t necessarily wrong. Diversity is a strength when people stop focusing on how we do things and remember who we do things for. People have different gifts, talent and abilities. As followers of Christ, we realize that God’s given those gifts and abilities to people for one purpose: to build up His people – the Church. We’re called to serve God for the betterment of all – those in the church and those that need to be in the church. We do that be recognizing that we can’t do everything ourselves, our gift isn’t the only important gift, and that God’s plan is always best. Celebrate the diversity of gifts and talents that God has given us by using your gifts under God’s leadership to help others and honoring your brothers and sisters in Christ as they use their gifts under God’s leadership also.
Lord, we are a diverse lot, but we’re diverse under Your leadership. Help all of us in Your church to use the gifts and talents You’ve given for Your glory.