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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Have I Got a Gift for You...

A few months ago, I took a spiritual gifts survery again (well, actually, I took two of them, but more about that in a minute). For those of you who don't know, spiritual gifts surveys are used for Christians to find out what their spiritual gifts are so they can know in what capacity they can best do the work of the church. Good idea, right?

I used to think so. I'm not so sure anymore. I decided that I would take two of these surveys: one from the church I currently attend, and another that I had from a church that I used to attend. I'm glad I did this, because it showed me that spiritual gift surveys are not the best way to find out where one belongs. I had different gifts show up on each survey, and one that was high on one survey was low on the other.

And if they are all written down on a list, at which point in the list does one draw the line to show which are a person's gifts and which are not? At 11? 8?

Although Paul does mention spiritual gifts on a couple of different occassions, I think that with these surveys, we really are putting too much emphasis on it. Without them, sure, there are people who are volunteering in a capacity that perhaps they should not be. But with them, people may never try different areas because they feel locked into what the survey told them of their spiritual gifts.

Do I think there are spiritual gifts? Sure. But I think that the surveys can make it too boxed in. Find out what you love to do and what you are good at, and go from there. Use your talents and abilities to bring glory to God, and to bring God to others. Whether or not it is something that shows up on a spiritual gift survery doesn't really matter. Isn't that what we should be doing with what God gave us anyway?

3 comments:

Drew said...

Good post. What perhaps some people don't consider is that while spiritual gifts are good, we also have natural abilities, which can be as valuable.

I am good at number-crunching, especially accounts. Every organisation needs someone who knows how to balance the books. The fact that it's not a "spiritual gift" is irrelevant. It's a needed ability in any organisation, just like the ability to organise or even clean.

While the big things are important, the little things like balancing the books, cleaning the offices, organising staff and so on are even more so.

Kelly said...

Yeah, natural abilities are valuable too. I think there is definitely crossover between the two, as natural abilities can be used for both good or evil. If they are used for good, perhaps they then "turn into" spiritual gifts?

Drew said...

Yeah, natural abilities are valuable too. I think there is definitely crossover between the two, as natural abilities can be used for both good or evil.

I agree.

If they are used for good, perhaps they then "turn into" spiritual gifts?

The church that I went to balanced teaching about spiritual gifts with the idea that natural abilites could be "spiritually enhanced", which sounds along the same lines as that.