We too often look out for ourselves, but today’s verse mentions that we were given the Holy Spirit and various spiritual gifts for the common good. We read in 1 Corinthians 12:7: “A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good” (CSB). This goes against what we usually are being shown in the world. The world teaches us to look out for #1, to build ourselves up, to do all that we can for our own happiness.
We certainly should look out for ourselves, to use good discernment as we go through our days. It is also good for us to build ourselves up by growing into who God created us to be for His glory. God even wants us happy too. But this passage reminds us that it is not all about you, and it’s not all about me. We are a community — we are designed to be a community — and with the community, should come a desire for us all to seek the common good.
Seeking the common good does not mean we lose our individuality. Nor does it mean that we become a doormat or that we will be lacking in something because we sought the common good. We each have spiritual gifts that are beneficial to the community, that we were given for the community. When we keep them from the community, there is sadly a loss — something missing for the community to function at its best.
When I imagine common good, I consider each one of us pitching in, doing our part, so that we all find success. If each of us, together, as a community, sought the common good, the world around us would look different. There would be more love, more peace, more justice. Today, as you go about your day, consider ways you can seek the common good.