1 Corinthians 12:4–6 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
Jealousy can destroy relationships. People don’t trust one another. They can get consumed by a lack of contentment. They want what they don’t have. They can get overwhelmed by covetous thoughts. They want what others have. It seems that jealousy was dividing the Christians in Corinth. Some of the members were not happy with the gifts God had given them. They were filled with envy for the gifts God had given to others.
Jealousy and envy can easily derail us from carrying out the work God has given us. He has given us the gift of faith so we might have eternal life in heaven. But he has also made us believers in Jesus so we might work in his kingdom. He has made us his children so we might live and serve as his children.
Just as the Spirit gave us the gift of faith in Jesus, so he also gives us the gifts we need to serve Jesus. But he doesn’t give everyone the same gifts in the same amounts or the same combinations. One person might have gifts in the area of teaching, another in music. One person might be gifted in organizing, another in encouraging. One person might be able to fix things, another to build things. One person might even have abilities to do numerous tasks. But no one has every gift. No one is an expert in everything.
God has a great imagination. Just look at his creation. The animal kingdom is full of diverse, unique creatures. Some can fly, others swim. Some can gallop, others waddle. But no animal can do all of them. Yet there is just one Creator. There are many different gifts that can be used in God’s kingdom work. No one Christian has the gifts to do everything. But the one Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different Christians.
That fact can lead us to be content with what God has given to each of us. Instead of letting jealousy focus us on what we don’t have, consider the talents and abilities God has given us. Where are we putting them to use? Instead of letting envy over a fellow believer’s gifts divide a church, give thanks for the gifts he has given to our fellow believers in Christ. Let us rejoice in the uniqueness and diversity with which the Spirit blesses his church and enables fellow believers to work together.