Romans 12: 4-6
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…
Can you imagine an elite basketball team where the “5-foot-6-inch” point guard decided she wanted to play centre, replacing her “6-foot-4-inch” teammate. “I spend all day running up and down the court, dishing off the ball to the centre, who just lays the ball in the hoop. I think I’d much prefer that position”. It wouldn’t take long to see why that would not be a very wise decision, as she’d be standing in the key, dwarfed by those guarding her and having the basketball stuffed down her throat every time she drove to the basket.
Each member on that basketball court has a unique purpose and typically is uniquely designed for that position. A point guard (a.k.a. 1) is stereotypically shorter but gifted at dribbling the basketball and playmaking. A shooting guard (a.k.a. 2) is usually the team’s best shooter. A small forward (a.k.a. 3) is usually the most versatile having to take on various roles and they need quickness and strength. A power forward (a.k.a. 4) needs to be versatile, being large and strong enough to get to the basket, but also being a skilled shooter. Finally the centre (a.k.a. 5) is usually the tallest player on the court and needs to own the area under the basket both offensively and defensively gathering the rebounds and putting the ball in the hoop.
In order to have success in the game of basketball, each of the above positions in critical. And when each player accepts their position and works together as a team, the results are a pleasure to watch. When, however, a key player is missing or someone is not content with their position and takes on someone else’s duties the results are invariably chaos and defeat.
In the same way, God says that while we are all members of one team, we have different functions. And just like we are differently physically, we also have different spiritual gifts. If you look at the scripture above in Romans 12 and also look at 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and Ephesians 4:11-13, you will find 18 unique gifts of the spirit. While God can often grant multiple gifts to an individual, you will find that God will supply local churches with individuals with distinct gifts, and just like on the basketball court, when each recognizes their gifts and uses them to the best of their abilities, the end result is beautiful teamwork.
If you do not know your spiritual gift(s), I encourage you to read the scriptures listed hear, pray through them, and reference with mature believers in your life. Embrace the spiritual gifts you have been given, because God has chosen those spiritual gifts precisely for you (1 Cor: 12:11) for the specific good works he has prepared in advance for you to do (Ephes. 2:10). GO TEAM!