By Theresa Montminy
The gifts of the Spirit are a glorious treasure. They are evidence that God has crafted a plan and made us His co-workers. Think of that! Partners with the eternal God! No achievement or recognition in our labor can compete with that. There is no higher honor for the work of our hands.
Such an amazing reality only comes to life in those who are Disciples of Christ ... those who are spiritually minded and filled with the Spirit of God. It is saddening then when human nature distorts these blessings and makes them a point of conflict. But it happens so often!
Do the gifts of the Spirit become our occasion to judge the work of grace in others? If God has given us the gift of mercy, do we have contempt for those who demonstrate a lack of it? If God has given us a burden for a specific social problem, is it easy for us to assume all others should have the same burden? Is it common for us to think of our own gifts as spiritual and those who lack them as unspiritual?
Church unity is often disrupted by the assumption that all causes are to be equally defended by all believers. Or, that all ministries are to be equally served by all members of the Body of Christ. We forget that our God loves variety. We forget that He has not distributed His gifts with absolute equity. Does that seem unfair? No, He alone will judge fairness.
Each one of us will be held accountable for the resources we have received. No more, no less. The distribution of the gifts of the Spirit is determined by the wisdom of God. What we really need to remember is that we are called to work together with the gifts we have received to build His Church here on earth.
Spiritual maturity is not found in having all gifts or defending all causes. It is found in accepting the diversity of God’s people and working within it.
May your days be filled with the understanding that we are called to a fullness of life that far exceeds what we are able to do alone. May the Spirit of God guide you today and always.
Theresa Montminy is director of Mission Advancement for the Diocese of San Bernardino.