- Religion and Philosophy
Christians Without Gifts: Yay or Nay
This piece is, honestly speaking, touchy. And apt to spark controversies galore, but that isn't my goal. This hub is dedicated to those Christians who are like me in my personal view, "non-gifted," compared to others in their respective areas of the Body of Christ.
This piece has a secondary objective: to seek advice from my followers who have always been very helpful in scary situations such as the topic I am discussing
Gifts and abilities: There are differences
This is what the King James Version of The Holy Bible has to say about "gifts of The Holy Spirit" found in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. Read it for yourself.
Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 2 You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. 3 So I want you to know that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.”
4 There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. 6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.
7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
These passages are about spiritual gifts. As for a person's abilities, talents, this is an entirely different ball of wax. Example: "Joe Smith," is a non-believer, but is the best automotive mechanic in town." So we are left to assume that "Smith" has certain abilities (given to him by God) to repair automotive problems.
Now look at "Millie Whitworth," who is Christian and realizes that she, like all other Christians, are not perfect, but is faithful to God in her daily life following The Scriptures as best she can. Now when it comes to cooking, "Millie" cannot be beat. And when it pertains to teaching a Bible class in her church, she is beyond excellent. You would be safe in saying that she is gifted.
Abilities and gifts are different. "Millie" has one outstanding ability: cooking and one gift: teaching an Adult Bible Study Class in her church, whereas "Joe" has one outstanding ability: repairing automobiles. But he does not have any gifts of the Holy Spirit. That is not to say that he does not already have them inside his spirit and life plan that God has for him. Let's say that one day, "Joe," accepts The Lord as Savior and Lord and in a short time, he was able to discern one spirit from the other when it came to evil and good spirits. If you are confused, re-read the scriptures above one more time. Discerning spirits is just one of the gifts of The Holy Spirit.
But "Joe," although he is very happy with his gift of discerning spirits, is hungry for another gift, maybe two, so he starts to seek God in an earnest spirit and humble heart on a daily basis and continues to do this according to The Scriptures although sometimes he grows weary and even discouraged because the common enemy to all Christians, Satan, is trying hard to get "Joe" to believe that one gift is all that God will ever give him.
Let's be reminded what Jesus, Our Lord, labelled Satan: "The father of all lies." So it is a safe conclusion that Satan is a liar every time he opens his filthy mouth. Now we can all agree that everything that "Joe" feels in his spirit that is of a negative, doubting thinking process is not of God, but of Satan.
Then one day possibly two or three years from the time "Joe" began seeking God for one or two more gifts, God answers his prayers and now "Joe" can not only discern spirits to see if they are evil or good, but now he can interpret the language of tongues that some in his church are using under the power of The Holy Spirit and explain what they are saying. Now "Joe," has three gifts and still got that one wonderful ability to keep automobiles running. In my view, both "Joe" and "Millie" are at peace and two very happy people.
A serious question for YOU:
After reading this hub, do you think that "I" have a legitimate gripe about my not being gifted to be used to glorify God or just someone being overlooked in a large congregation in church?
Put your answer in Comment boxes below.
Have you ever went through a situation like the one that I am dealing with?
1 Corinthians and me
Look at verse seven where it says that The Holy Spirit has is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. Then from verse eight through verse ten, the various gifts of the Spirit are listed. Plain, right? No argument from me. Over the course of my life I have been guilty of committing ignorant things. Some for fun. Some just to see how far that I could go. And the answer is not far if you are wondering.
But questioning God's sovereignty and will out of personal resentment, not to seek His wisdom is, in my opinion, "the" number one dumbest thing that believer in Christ can do. Sadly, it doesn't come with a golden trophy. But honestly, I do feel the temptation to do this deplorable thing at times. Then I ponder the times that I have prayed, fasted, and sought God since 1993, to give me the one answer I have desired for this question: "Dear Heavenly Father, please tell me or show me the nature of my gift of The Holy Spirit?"
It is now in the latter days of 2016, October when this was written, and I have yet to get my answer. Now days I am tempted to just "throw in the towel," and cut my losses and just attend worship and let that be that. Is "throwing in the towel," a wise decision on my part? No. I do not have to study for my answer. I did say that I was tempted to do this.
To put my comments in layman's logic, from what I have studied in the Scriptures, and the places, people, and events that I studied, it did not take God 22 or more years to answer ONE prayer for any of His followers, but 22 years is how long now that I have sought him and I am now 62 years of age and not in the best of physical shapes, so, Heavenly Father, what's up with the waiting for so long? I would love to know.
Yes, I not only know, but truly believe that your "friend," (as you call him in The Bible) Abraham and his wife, Sarah waited on you for many years before you delivered on your promise of giving them a child at their advanced ages. We know the story of how Sarah's impatience convinced Abraham to "go into" her hand maiden, Haggar, and thus, have a son, Ismael. But God's promise of a son, Issac, did not come until years later.
So I will concede that my problem may be a lack of patience in you, Father, but believing that you understand all things except you failing, I am now 62 years of age and honestly, I do not have that many years of productive days left, but that is up to you. I just wanted to make a point of letting you know how old I am. I know that you are softly laughing at me and you have every right. It's just I have sat on pews of your believers and watched them exercise the gifts you gave them and please, Heavenly Father, do not tell me that sitting upon a church pew is an area of gifting. I can be like your friends, Moses and The Apostle Peter in being stubborn and argumentative.
How would you feel If every church body you were associated with in your Christian walk and I am talking Free will Baptist to Pentecostal, were almost filled with other believers exercising their gifts of The Holy Spirit (in decency and order) and you just sat there because you had never had your prayer of what your gift(s) of The Spirit were?
Be honest. Although the believers around you are all loving and caring friends and would give their lives for you at anytime, but on a personal view, they do not and cannot feel what you feel for they are all gifted Christians and you are not.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that just sitting on the church pew is not a good experience when worshiping God. No, I do not advocate that one must be up and running around to prove their faith, but sooner or later, a person in my situation will in some way, let his or her gift be on public display as the early Christians did in the Book of Acts and still do now in 2016.
Now I am left to wonder
Among other thoughts, if God in His infinite wisdom, understanding and omnipresence, put me on earth to "just" live. And that's it. I really wonder if this is my "calling?" And you would too if you were in my position. Do not tell me that you would smile and wait patiently on The Father as everyone around you put their gifts of The Holy Spirit on display Sunday after Sunday and you just sit there to watch.
You see? I have, and this is not boasting, been a cheerleader for almost everyone around me for many years and this is what gets me. When I am trodding this dark, unsure valley, those I have cheered for and encouraged sincerely, are not to be found and that coupled with not having any gifts from God, makes me feel as if I am struggling to climb a rocky hill with a ton of rocks in bags tied upon my back like that of a pack mule.
Not a fun place to be. And certainly not a good location to be in The Body of Christ.
Good night, Butte, Montana.
© 2016 Kenneth Avery