Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do You Know Your Spiritual Gifts?

“There are varieties of gifts,… but it is the same God who activates them all. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4,6-7)

The Bible teaches that each and every Christian is given Spiritual Gifts to help life effective life and ministry in our world. Unfortunately, many believers not only don’t know what their gifts are, but don’t know how to use them, resulting in frustration and disillusionment in their life and work. That’s why last week in worship we began our discussion of the S.T.R.I.D.E. principles of Christian faith by learning about the equipping Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

If you missed church last week, or are not in one of our “Serving From the Heart” classes, you can click here to take a short online Spiritual Gifts Assessment to discover your gifts. In the meantime, though, enjoy this humorous parable from Leslie Flynn about the importance of the variety of gifts within the overall health and effectiveness of Christ’s body (the Church):

“The event is a conference of carpenter’s tools, where Mr. Hammer is presiding. Several suggest he leave the meeting because he is too noisy. Replies the Hammer, ‘If I have to leave this shop, Mr. Screw must go also. You have to turn him around again and again to get him to accomplish anything.’ Mr. Screw then spoke up. ‘If you wish, I will leave. But Mr. Plane must leave too. All his work is on the surface. His efforts have no depth.’ To this Mr. Plane responds, ‘Mr. Ruler will also have to withdraw, for he is always measuring folks as though he were the only one who is right.’ Mr. Ruler then complains against Mr. Sandpaper, ‘You ought to leave too because you're so rough and always rubbing people the wrong way.’

In the midst of all this discussion, in walks Jesus, the Carpenter of Nazareth. He has arrived to start His day's work. Putting on His apron, He goes to the bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the gospel. He employs the hammer, screw, plane, rule, sandpaper, and all the other tools. After the day's work when the pulpit is finished, Mr. Saw rises and remarks, ‘Friends, I see that all of us are workers together with the Lord.’”

[-Leslie B. Flynn, Nineteen Gifts of the Spirit, p. 34]

I’m thankful that, like these tools, we as human beings are created by God with diversity and variety. We’re not all alike (thank goodness!), but we do have a common purpose. As Paul puts it in the scripture above, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” So, do you know YOUR Spiritual Gifts? More importantly… are you USING them in and for God’s service? Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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