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An early fantasy I used to have…

Posted by on Jul 24, 2020 in Gifts of the Spirit | Comments Off on An early fantasy I used to have…

…and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it…  1 Corinthians 12:23-26

My Bible reading led me to 1 Corinthians 12 today. I was all set to think about gifts of the Spirit and how they operate in a church, but what really caught my attention was what was said in verses 23-26.

I asked myself, “How well do we honor those members among us whom we may deem less honorable? How do we approach those whom we think are less presentable? Are we being scriptural in our dealings with members who lack the elegance of our more appealing members? Are we ignoring and shunning them or are we taking them under our wings, listening to them, and lovingly discipling them?”

Tough questions. But we are entering a new time in the church. Whoever I listen to online these days, the call for the re-establishment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our churches is clear. The Holy Ghost must be free to flow, the voices are all saying. I agree.

But I found it interesting that Paul, the writer of the letters to the Corinthians, included—and did not exclude—the less honorable, the less presentable, and those who lacked (in my opinion, social graces) in his admonition concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I LOVE that he included these precious, awkward souls in his teaching!

This thought came to me: Is it because the churches—generally—have been somewhat embarrassed and put off by such souls in their midst that the Holy Spirit has actually been hindered in His full, powerful, life-giving and life-affirming operation and manifestation?

Then I remembered a fantasy I used to play frequently in my mind when I moved back to St. Louis after my first year of teaching. I was a whopping four years old in Christ, gobbling up the Word of God, and full of the zeal of the Lord.

I would see people wherever I went—to the gas station, McDonald’s, the store, in the neighborhood—and I would fasten my eyes on a random individual. Whoever that was, black or white, old or young, male or female, big or small, dirty or clean, wealthy or poor—I would imagine them behind a pulpit, preaching a fiery sermon, and praying for the sick and oppressed while signs and wonders followed. This fantasy made me incredibly happy.

The Lord told me as memory took me back to my old fantasy, “That fantasy used to make Me very happy, too.”

As we the church transition into the restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we must be sure to make every correction Paul prescribed to re-establish not only the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12, but also the very heart of that message as well. Otherwise, we will merely be noisy gongs or clanging cymbals.


© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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