Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ch. 2: Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts defined: "a God-given special ability, given to every believer at conversion by the Holy Spirit, to share his love and strengthen the body of Christ."

Hmmm So if I accepted Christ when I was 5, that means I have had this gift for almost 20 years now.  You would think I would have figured out how to use them!  Alas, that just isn't the case.  When it comes to knowing, understanding and using my spiritual gifts I don't even know where to start.  Going through this book has given me a lot of direction on how to figure out what my spiritual gifts are.

Here is a list of 20 basic spiritual gifts:

(1 Corinth. 12:8-10; 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:9-10)


Phew!  This is pretty overwhelming to look at and have to figure out which one God has blessed me with!  But I took a little quiz which had the definitions of each of these and I discovered I know of one spiritual gift for sure: hospitality.

I know this because hosting parties and events or just inviting friends over last minute is very natural for me and I love to do it. I have always viewed my home as God's place to use as He pleases.  It is my goal that friends feel comfortable, loved and welcomed when they visit.  However, there are still areas to work on.

For instance, I just had the thought, Wow, my home is a very sacred place to me.  This kind of thinking causes me to shut some out of my home.  There is a time and place to protect my family from intruders whether it's a burglar or an untrustworthy friend.  But I do run the risk of not seeing who God wants me to see.  This is especially true if I decide to behave like a recluse - which I have actually been struggling with this past year.  Only recently have I made efforts to opening my home up again for people and I have to say, I do enjoy it very much.

It's interesting that God is the one who divvies out these gifts and sometimes it's just not good enough!  Am I right or am I right?  I have grown up assuming I have the gift of leadership simply because it's natural but I am not sure I get much enjoyment from leadership.  I really enjoy the fact that God has designed me to enjoy the gifts he has given me.  But I think it's time to start thinking outside the box and trying new things.

My husband and I tried working in the children's ministry at our church.  It wasn't bad or good, it just was and we need to continue with that until we know one way or the other.  I was a prayer leader for my Bible study this session - that didn't exactly work out.  I had a falling out in my personal life which seems to have effected every area of my life.  Thus, I stepped out of leadership like a fly stuck in molasses, because he was stupid enough to land on it.  This is only part of the journey I have been these past few weeks.  There are many more areas yet to be explored.

One aspect of all this I often forget is "If I [share my home], but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1.  I have found myself in this spot many times.  A few years ago, when I was single, I hosted a girl's night meant for prayer and accountability.  It started out being better than what I had hoped to create.  But as time wore on the evening became something I would dread every single week.  I either lost sight of the purpose or God was telling me it was time to give up that event.  Maybe it was a combination of both.  But it really SUCKS to be doing something for the glory of God and to hate doing it.  RIGHT??  Am I the only one who has found myself here?

My biggest downfall is when it comes to the trap of projection.  I do this a lot.  For instance, it feels like I am always the one inviting my friends to go to parties or shopping or for a drink at a local restaurant.  Then I get annoyed when the favor isn't returned and I decide to be mad about it.  Jon laughs at me when I do this - so I punch him and he laughs even harder.  I do know the truth is that I naturally have a gift and desire to be intimately involved in other's lives but it's hard to remember when the enemy is on the prowl.  So instead of sitting back with a scowl, I need to just get over myself.

So, spiritual gifts.  They are handpicked for every individual by God and given during those precious moments of conversion.  We then have every tool we need to glorify our Creator by using our gifts to bless others.  

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