“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” 1 Corinthians 12:7
“What’s in it for me?” It’s a question so natural for us that it’s practically a reflex. We’re consumed by an impulse to make sure that we get what we believe is owed to use. And very rarely does the circle expand much bigger than the a few inches beyond our own feet. Even our concern for our friends and families is largely selfish because our personal well being is so closely tied up in theirs.
But this isn’t the way God is. The picture scripture paints of the Godhead is one where they’re actively, lovingly, intently interested in making sure that their creation receives the best they can give. It’s taken a bit of piecing and not a little reading between the lines but a few years ago I came to the conclusion that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit want us to have the same kind of relationship with them as they have with each other. I believe that in the ages before creation the Godhead grew in their selfless relationship with each other until they could no longer keep it to themselves. They had to share it. So they began to create. And they created us in their image so that we could better be a part of the relationship they have to share.
That’s why whenever God’s started to restore his people to himself he’s always worked with groups of people. First a family that grew into a nation and now as a Church that’s spread around the world. Restoring us so that we once again have a nature like Christ’s requires that we have others that we can give our selfless consideration to.
And when it comes to the gifts and abilities the Spirit has given it makes perfect sense that they’re given to individuals for the “profit of all.” So now the question’s changed. When it comes to out talents, abilities and other resources, instead of asking, “What’s in it for me?” we need to ask, “What’s in it for them?” You see God hasn’t just given us the “others” we need if we’re going to be able to be selfless; he’s us given us what we need so that we’ll have something to offer as well.
Never feel that you don’t have a place in God’s family. God loves you and when he created you he also created a place for you in his family circle. You may not be aware of what they are yet but God has given you gifts and abilities so that you will have something to give