We so easily classify practical giftings as being of lesser value than, so-called, spiritual giftings. In view of such an inclination it is interesting to read these words from Exodus 31:3-5 concerning Bezalel:
I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.
The clear connection established here is that the skills to make artistic designs in the tabernacle were connected with the filling of the Holy Spirit. It was not just those who had the gifts of bringing the Word of God and those conducting the sacrifices who were considered to be spiritually gifted. Those who were doing practical things were also considered to be spiritually gifted. This raises some issues:-
- Practical abilities which contribute to the furtherance of God’s Work, among the people of God should be valued just as highly as the more prominent Word gifts or leadership gifts. They are all in a sense spiritual gifts. The church needs both for its healthy functioning. Let us cherish all who labour to bring glory to God in His church.
- On a more general level we are reminded that all the abilities that we have are given by God. As Paul said to the Corinthians What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Cor. 4:7b). Every ability to perform anything is given by God. To make a meal, to fix a broken toy, all and anything can only come because God has given the ability.