“None of you should be proud of one person and despise another… Didn’t God give you everything you have?”
1 Cor 4:6, 7 GNB
In the Christian community, as in every other sphere of human activity, some people shine whilst others plod along. Those observing “take to” one person but feel untouched by another. It happens in business, the media, sport, hobby activity, and entertainment.
The various teachers who had visited Corinth had made differing impacts. The Corinthian Christians, “babes in the faith”, had formed themselves into different support groups and had supposed the one teacher to be superior to the others. They had failed to understand that all ministry is a gift from God and should be appreciated as such. Misunderstandings and conflicts had resulted because they had responded to the different leaders as if the whole thing were a competition, playing the one off against the other. Paul tried to lead them to a better way of thinking. Each of them was different, but each leader was in himself a gift to them from God. Each tried to build up the body – that was the Holy Spirit working through them.
Cherish the many and varied gifts that God has given to your Christian fellowship. Appreciate especially those who have given themselves in full time professional ministry. If there is more than one do everything possible to build up the team work they need. But cherish the lay people who minister – in music, in administration, in financial management, in pastoral caring, teaching and in youth work. Some do valuable work in hospital visiting, others in property maintenance. See every one as a gift from God. Get other people to express their appreciation as well. And encourage more to give their ministry as well.
Lord, thank you for all the gifts of the various ministries.