Variety is the spice of life–or so they say. And according to the apostle Paul, variety is also the beauty and strength of the church. To paraphrase Paul, the church is a gathering of different people from a multitude of backgrounds. If that weren’t diverse enough, the Holy Spirit spices things up by bestowing a variety of gifts upon an already diverse community.
Different folks with different experiences and different stories, equipped with different gifts to accomplish distinct purposes. On the surface, it sounds like a recipe for division, dissension, and dysfunction.
Instead, in God’s infinite wisdom, it’s the diversity that actually highlights the unity of the church. There are numerous gifts, yet they are given by the same Spirit (v. 4). There are countless ways to serve, but it’s all in service to the same Lord (v. 5). The activities of the church vary, “but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone” (v. 6). There are many individual members, but they are interdependent as members of one body (v. 12).
So what does this mean for you, practically? It means that whatever your story, whatever your abilities and gifts, you have an important, indispensable role to play in the church of Jesus Christ. Your story and your gifting might be very different from the brother or sister sitting next to you on a Sunday morning. But take heart: variety is the
spice of life strength of the church!