I love playing the 5-string banjo. But it has one drawback. The fifth string will harmonize with only a limited number of simple chords. When other musicians want to play more complicated music, the banjoist has to adapt. He can lend marvelous melodic tones to a jam session only by making the right adjustments.
Just as musicians adjust with their instruments, we as believers also need to make adjustments with our spiritual gifts if we want to harmonize with others to serve God. For instance, those who have the gift of teaching must coordinate with those who have the gift of organizing meetings and with those who make sure meeting rooms are set up and cleaned. All of us have spiritual gifts, and we must work together if God’s work is to get done.
The apostle Peter said, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Stewardship requires cooperation. Think about your spiritual gifts (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4; 1 Peter 4). Now reflect on how you can dovetail their use with the gifts of other believers. When our talents are used in a complementary way, the result is harmony and glory to God.
An anthem loud we bring,
When willingly we give our gifts
Of labor to our King. —Branon
The Bible Reader’s Companion provides these helpful insights into today’s reading: “Peter has described the pagan’s choice: to satisfy their human desires. He now describes the lifestyle that pagans can make no sense of, but which reflects the will of God for His people. This includes: self-control, prayer, mutual love, unstinting hospitality, using gifts for the benefit of others, serving wholeheartedly and ‘with the strength God provides.’”