As students enter into Junior High and High School the opportunity for students to begin to open up and spread their wings is often seen in the area of the extracurricular activities they choose. Whether it be the choir, band, sports, art, or a multitude of other options, students are given the opportunity to choose something they enjoy or are gifted in to pursue further. Often these extra activities not only involve themselves but a host of team members. In order for the group to sound on key, the team to win the game, or overcome the obstacle placed before the team, they must work together with their individual gifts. And so it is with the students who belong to the body of Christ.
Gifted Individually by Same God
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial: to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of languages, to another, interpretation of languages. But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each one as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11a
A coach or director would never leave their team or choir, etc. to perform the tasks he has asked them to do without some oversight. The coach places individuals in the positions he believes will benefit the team the most. It is his discretion whether or not you play linebacker or tailback; post or guard; sing soprano I or soprano II. The coach or director chooses. Not only does he choose, but he is active in each and everyone’s position as overseer so that what is produced benefits the entire team or ensemble.
The student of Christ never has to worry about having a teacher that is not active in what they are doing. We have a God who is active not only in our lives but the lives of those around us. Therefore, we can rest in knowing God is working to produce not only what is beneficial for us as an individual but also as a part of the body of Christ.
Gifted According to the Creator’s Will & Pleasure
But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each one as He wills. For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body-so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 1 Corinthians 12:11-19
Because God is actively working to produce what is beneficial, the student can also believe that God knows what gifts to give to individuals. While it is God’s will to decide who to give what gift to, it is our responsibility to do what He has gifted us to do. Each believer has been gifted by the Creator for “good works for them to walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10) so that the entire body of Christ might be healthy and moving in the direction the Holy Spirit desires for it to move. A student should not feel like they have no value because of the gift God has given to them no matter how great or small. Instead, each student should work at being the best part of that particular body as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23).
Gifted For No Division
Now there are many parts, yet one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” nor again the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, all the more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. But our presentable parts have no need [of clothing]. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:20-27
A quarterback needs a receiver. A tenor needs a bass. The eye needs the hand and the head needs the feet. This dependence on the other parts of the body produces a spirit of humility and helps prevent pridefulness. For when one part of the body begins to rise up, it is quickly realized that the body does not move far. However, when each part works within the realm of obedience the Creator has created them to walk in, then the body moves forward like the vast army He created it to be spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Extracurricular activities are usually chosen on the basis of individual passions. We as the body of Christ have different functions, and when we gather together and do what we are called to do, the body moves forward under the headship of Christ.
What extracurricular activity has God specifically designed you to participate in and flourish? If you are not sure, ask and He will reveal it to you. On the other hand, if you do know where He has you participating, spend some time evaluating whether or not you are participating to the fullest He desires for you. Or have you have possibly become sidetracked by jealousy of those gifted with a different part? May we each seek to grow as the body of Christ and not stunt our growth or the work He has for us to do.
“From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.” Ephesians 4:15
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