Bill Gothard tells this classic illustration. He imagines a party, and they’re getting ready to serve the dessert. The person bringing the beautiful dessert to the table trips, and the dessert falls on the floor. There is the episode. Now here’s how the different gifts may come into practice. The person who has the gift of prophecy says, “That’s what happens when you’re not careful.” A person who has the gift of mercy says, “Don’t feel bad; anybody could do that.” A person who has the gift of service says, “Hey, let me help you clean it up.” A person who has the gift of teaching says, “The reason it fell is it was too heavy on one side. Next time put it in the middle.” The person who has the gift of exhortation says, “From now on, let’s just serve the dessert first, and put it in the middle of the table so it won’t fall.” The person who has the gift of giving says, “I’ll buy a new dessert.” And the person who has the gift of administration says, “Jim, get the mop. Sue, please help pick it up. Mary, you go fix some more dessert.”

That’s a great illustration. You see how all of these different gifts are necessary and how they all work together.

You are a gifted child. God doesn’t want you to go to church just to sit and soak. Your life is going to be meaningless, to a degree, until you discover your spiritual gift, and put it to work.

Adrian Rogers and Steve Rogers, What Every Christian Ought to Know (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2012).

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