God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 MSG
Have you ever tried walking around in shoes that don’t fit? Not metaphorically – literally. I wear a UK size nine, so I’ve had my feet – or, I should say, parts of my feet – in a variety of ill-fitting shoes in an attempt to find suitable footwear. Waddling around a store in shoes that don’t fit isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s comical. Very few people will buy shoes that don’t actually fit them. Why would they? It’s ridiculous!
The funny thing is, there are a lot of us walking around in spiritual footwear that doesn’t fit. Perhaps we were told that only certain kinds of shoes are welcome in a particular church, or that, if we were really Christian, we would be able to fit comfortably into a particular set of pumps. Maybe we ourselves have decided, like so many fashionistas do, that if only we wear a pair of shoes long enough, we can make them fit, because we want them to fit so badly!
I know, it’s a bit of a silly allegory – but isn’t it true? In 1 Corinthians Paul was writing to a church still finding its feet. These were a bunch of people sitting in a shoe store trying on everything from high heels to sandals, with varying degrees of success and/or appropriateness. Thus his emphasis in the Scripture reading above: he was urging them to find shoes that fit them, both individually and as a spiritual community.
We still have to make these same choices today, and the fact of the matter is that not all of us are stiletto people. Some of us are Crocs. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay! We have each been gifted differently, and in different areas. No one gift is better than the other. So why, why do we insist on glorifying only certain kinds of gifting? Why do we glorify spiritual gifts at all, when they are meant to glorify God? Do you think maybe we’ve gotten it a bit wrong? Do you think maybe we’re walking around with toddler size shoes on our toes and wondering why this isn’t working?
Paul is very clear about this: wear the shoes you’re meant to wear. Wear them well. Don’t look down on other people’s shoes, and certainly never use your shoes to walk over them. The shoes for our feet are meant to do one thing: to make us ready to proclaim the Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). No more, no less. Once we understand that, a lot of other crap falls away, and we find that, Hey! These shoes do fit!
Lord, help me to walk this walk, not just with You but for You, not just with others but for others. Help me to understand that not only do you approve of my uniqueness, you require it. It’s part of your plan. It’s part of your Kingdom. Make me ready to proclaim Your Gospel of peace in the way you best see fit. Amen.
 I wanted to say “No people”, but considering the large amount of nonsensical in the world, that just seemed presumptuous.