Gifts: things given willingly without payment/natural abilities or talents
Why Write an Article about Gifts?
No, this is not a hub in the excellent "Good Words", or "Good Thoughts" series by Jo Goldsmith.
In fact if you are one of my followers and have been reading the hubs I have been writing this year you will already know my inspiration..the books of Ursula Le Guin. "Gifts" is the seventh on the list of other books in the front of "Changing Planes" and subsequently the seventh hub I have published in 2016.
I admit to having some trouble with that title and what to write using it. I considered a poem or short story but my muse wasn't interested. Finally I decided why not just take the word literally instead of trying to be creative, and just write an article about the different types of gifts we human beings have been given.
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Please listen to this beautiful song
What is a Gift?
We all are endowed with a gift or gifts in some form. Whether we class them as being God given, or a natural talent isn't important. What unfolds in our lives or where fate leads us determines which of these we become aware of and utilize to their full potential.
At the moment there are a lot of hubs and blog posts/articles on the Internet advising the best "gifts' for Valentine's Day. Soon after that it will be Easter, Birthday, and Christmas etc. Just do a Google search for "gifts" and you will see where the priority lies.
Well, in this article I won't be discussing those type of gifts.
1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. (donation, contribution, offering, benefaction, endowment, bounty, boon, largess, alms, gratuity, tip, premium, allowance, subsidy, bequest, legacy, inheritance, dowry)
2. the act of giving.
3. something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned. with no one defending the line the touch-down was presented to him as a gift.
4. a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent: the gift of saying the right thing at the right time. (faculty, aptitude, capability, bent, forte, genius, turn, knack)
Gifts of the Spirit
I didn't want this hub to be listed under Religion or Christian but it is impossible to talk about gifts without including what Christians refer to as "Gifts of the Spirit."
No believer can say that they have no gift of the Spirit from God. God has given all believers gifts; some have several but everyone has these gifts. These gifts of the Spirit are given not for the believer themselves but for the Body of Christ as a whole.
8) Speaking in Tongues
9) Interpretation of Tongues
Although those listed above are considered the major gifts of the Spirit, provided by God to believers there are also others mentioned in the Bible. These include: serving, teaching, encouragement, mercy, giving, leading.
These gifts are not considered to have been developed by human capacities, therefore the believer has absolutely no right to brag about the gifts he possesses. If we boast about our gifts, we are taking credit for something that we have not earned ourselves.
Gifts are for Everyone
Many of the above gifts are not exclusive to Christians or believers of other religions however. Anyone in the community may possess one or more of these gifts, with maybe the exclusion of speaking and interpreting of tongues.
For instance a doctor or surgeon has the gift of healing, a psychic would be said to have the gift of prophesy, a University professor or scientist could claim to have the gift of knowledge, and the Dalai Lama or Neil deGrasse Tyson wisdom.
A dedicated fan of a sporting team may have the faith that his team will make the final, even though they are currently sitting in last position.Some people can discern if another is being truthful or lying, or may just have a gut feeling they shouldn't catch that plane. They have the gift of discernment. I am constantly amazed reading or hearing of miracles happening in the world. A father suddenly finding the strength to lift a one tonne car off his small son trapped underneath, when normally he couldn't budge half that weight. That's a miracle
Then we have the so called lesser gifts: serving, teaching, encouragement, mercy, giving, leading, evangelism.
Anyone working in the hospitality or customer service industries have the gift of serving; teachers of course have the gift of teaching; parents encourage their children to study hard so they will succeed in whatever career they choose; Countries' leaders or judges have the power to use the gift of mercy; charity workers, volunteers and philanthropists have the gift of giving; politicians, CEOs of companies, Military commanders etc possess the gift of leading. Some Christians are called to evangelism as a way of spreading the word of God.
Some may argue that wealth and success could also be classed as gifts. I must admit there are some people who do seem to succeed at everything they attempt, and other's who have become millionaires through being innovative or having an idea that went viral. For those reason I can't rule these out.
There are many more gifts not mentioned above or in the Bible. These are natural abilities or gifts that may be in our genes or things we are born with. Although these can be improved with practice and dedication we need to be gifted with these abilities from birth in order to excel. Here is a list of some of them:
- Music (voice or instrument)
- Rhythm (dance, figure skating)
- Sport (athleticism, strength, speed)
- Art (painting, sculpture, illustration, design)
- Expression (writing, acting, public speaking)
- Inspiration (encouragement)
- Technical ability
- Business acumen
- Exceptional (photographic) memory
- Work/relate with animals
- Selflessness (care giving)
There are a couple of abilities that could possibly be added to this list and that I personally would class as gifts, but others may disagree:
- Lying (Deception)
Trying to decide on a relevant topic/category for this hub left me in quite a quandary. I currently have it listed this under: Education and Science → Sociology & Anthropology → Human Societies. However, I am not really happy with this listing.
I considered Religion and Philosophy, but didn't want it confined under Religion. Also Politics and Social Issues, but that just wasn't right. I would really appreciate if anyone has a suggestion as to which category this hub should be listed under. If you could give me some advice in comments it would be greatly appreciated.
I'd also like to hear of any of any other "gifts" you feel should be added to the list. Thank you for reading, now go out and use your special gifts.
© 2016 John Hansen
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