Four months before he died, the English minister Charles Spurgeon was afflicted with gout, rheumatism and Bright’s disease. He wrote a letter to his church admonishing them to serve another –
“Those who are not working bees usually turn into dead flies, and spoil the sweetest ointments by the pot-full at a time. May no one in the church sink into such a wretched condition; far rather may we be so blest as to become blessings all around.”
Before you go on further in reading this blog post, read I Corinthians 12.
How does one become a working bee?
First, learn to accept the variety of gifts in the church. There are varieties of gifts, services and activities. Each of us is given a unique blending of variety for the good of others. We are all differing parts of the body. An all-wise God made the church this way. Don’t negate others as less important than yourself when it comes to spiritual gifts. All our spiritual gifts are important. We need each other’s contributions to the Body of Christ.
Second, beware of “spiritual gifts envy.” This comes when hands think they should be feet or eyes think they should be ears. Maybe we look at others gifts we don’t have and covet their enabling or their fruit. Maybe we covet a platform they have that we don’t. Maybe we look at others who have our same gifts and think, “How come they seem more effective than me?” God gave us exactly the blending of giftedness we need. We need to come to realize the importance of every spiritual gift and then we won’t envy the gifts of others.
Third, your gifts must be exercised and developed. God appointed all spiritual gifts to be used and not stored away. He even designed it so that we would be empowered by Him when we are using them. To avoid engaging in serving the body is like putting “Christ on the shelf.” Paul told Timothy to not neglect His gift (II Timothy 1:6).
Fourth, and finally, work harder at being together more often (Hebrews 10:24-25). When you look at all the “one another’s” in the N.T., there is much to practice for a few hours on a Sunday morning and or during a mid-week small group meeting. But, we need more. My former college pastor remarked that if we the Apostle Paul came to our churches today, he might ask. ‘That’s it?’” Find some time to be together more often than less often.