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Christians Without Gifts: Yay or Nay

Updated on November 15, 2016
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.


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

Some Christians are gifted to interpret The Bible to layman's terms
Some Christians are gifted to interpret The Bible to layman's terms | Source

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.

Have you ever felt small in this vast universe of ours?
Have you ever felt small in this vast universe of ours? | Source

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?

See results

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.

Old Man Praying  pencil drawing by  master artist,  Vincent van Gogh
Old Man Praying pencil drawing by master artist, Vincent van Gogh | Source
 Pastor studying Bible for inspiration for his next sermon
Pastor studying Bible for inspiration for his next sermon | Source

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.

All saints girls choir  North Hampton England sing hymns for worship. My question: Is singing a gift or an ability?
All saints girls choir North Hampton England sing hymns for worship. My question: Is singing a gift or an ability? | Source

© 2016 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I see clearly your points made in your comment. And I, being true to what you said to me, made so much sense.

      I am not into socio-Christianity, but the "carved in the rock" style of Christianity.

      I am not about a scientific, crystals worshipper, or God being in all things---fact is, He is above all things watching his ever higher ways and thoughts than we mortals.

      I am not about arguing or tonguelashing a bit of knit or sawdust in the eye.

      I appreciate you, MizBejabbers.

      Be safe.

      Be blessed of God.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan,


      Your comment, although consisted of a few lines, said so much. Thank you so much.

      God bless you.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Kylyssa Shay,

      Thank you for the discussion and I might add that you are in no way, someone who is not trained in some area of education.

      As for atheist, I have to be honest, I received several bits of wisdom from your comment.

      And I am NOT going to condemn you even if you are an atheist. Remember, even in our last breath and that last sparkle of life, there is hope.


    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Very interesting.

      Thanks for your support.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, DreamerMeg,

      I feel so much better after reading your comment. Thank you.

      And I mean it.

      May God bless you richly.

      Write me anytime.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      @kylyssa, great answer. I am not qualified to comment, either. @Kenneth, you have a gift that you display every day, the gift of healing. Healing does not have to be solely physical problems. You have already given examples of your healing in this hub and also in a reply on another hub. You encourage people. That is a form of healing because you help people find their true selves hidden below the mental hurts they have suffered. Through your writing and your poetry you spread your healing widely and help others you are not even aware of. What else is that but a true gift, that you have been using all this time, without recognizing it?

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Oh, my dear friend, Kenneth, I don’t know how to answer you. I don’t know whether to laugh with you or preach you a sermon, but I do know if I were there with you, I would turn you over my knee and spank you (and I’m only 5’ tall and 125 lbs.) Do you honestly not know how you appear to the rest of us? Do you know that God has given you one of the greatest gifts of all and you are not recognizing it? You, my dear, have the ability to make people laugh. That is your greatest Christian gift. Think of all the long-faced, sad Christians. A smile from you, a joke, a happy thought can make their day. What a gift you have!

      So Deacon Smith can pray your socks off on Sunday morning, or little Ella Green can bring a tear to your eye with her rendition of Amazing Grace. I’m sure it comes from their hearts, but it is a dog and pony show for God.

      The fact that you are dissatisfied tells me that you are searching for something that, if you were going to find it in the church, you would have found it there. The church is within the heart, not some building with an alter and a collection plate. I’m not telling you to do it my way, but I had to leave the church to find what people call “God”. I learned that my service to my fellow man was god’s plan for me. I am an excellent editor and serve the citizens of my state in what can be a very dull and boring job. I learned that very few people are suitable for this type of work, and I am one of the chosen few who are able to do it. That is my gift from God. Ain’t that funny, because I’d much rather be writing the great American novel.

      I’ll repeat what I’ve said many times, the Bible (and especially the words of Jesus) are like an onion. You peel away the layers until you find the one, like Goldilocks says, that’s just right. So my advice is go look into the mirror and smile real big at that face that you see. I’ll bet it smiles right back at you. I know that Jesus does. Remember, God has a wicked sense of humor or he wouldn’t have created man on earth. He has given you this gift, so I know appreciates yours.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Remember Jesus' condensation of the Ten Commandments? 'Love the Lord your God... and your neighbour as yourself.' Loving and helping our neighbours and being an encourager as they try to develop their gifts can be a great blessing to others.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 

      2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      First off, I'm an atheist so I don't understand what yearning to serve God is like, though maybe I can compare it to yearning to serve our fellow man. In any case, you clearly believe in Christian gifts and clearly believe you don't have any.

      There are a few things I can see here from the outside that may help you to see what you'd consider Christian gifts in yourself.

      From here I can see that you believe God is real, which is faith, something listed as a gift in your quote from Corinthians. Don't underestimate your belief, because not everyone can believe. Everyone who doesn't have that gift is shut away from comforts you can enjoy, even here in the material world.

      There are likely plenty who can't find a way to believe God is real sitting in the pews next to you, maybe even people displaying what you see as Christian gifts. What you see as gifts in them might feel utterly different to them. I've been told I have gifts by people who didn't know I don't believe God is real; they just saw me working with homeless people and assumed I was doing it for God and not for the people who needed the help.

      You have said you support others who use their Christian gifts. Isn't that a gift? Isn't the ability to let go of ego and work toward whatever you believe God wants regardless of who gets the credit a gift?

      Why not try that second gift on? Even without belief in God, I see the ability to help people express their love through works and words as a gift. If your religion is at all logical, helping others express their love of God by supporting them in the use of their gifts should be seen as a gift.

      Perhaps it would help for you to read John 5:2 through John 5:8 and think about what Jesus asked the crippled man. The man had an idea of how he could be healed and waited for years for someone to help him take that path to wellness, but then Jesus shows up and asks him if he wants to be healed. If you read between the lines you can see clearly how the sick man had focused in on a solution to his problems and couldn't see beyond it. He focused so hard on getting into the healing pool that he saw it as his goal for years even though his real goal was to be well.

      People lose sight of their real goals and any alternate paths to them when they get distracted by what other people are doing.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      2 years ago from Washington DC

      My friend Kenneth,

      The two most important things in the Bible is God's name, Yahuweh meaning I AM THAT I AM, and that means what Isaiah 45:7 reads, " I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do [present tense] all these things" and you didn't incorporate it in your piece. Few people interprets scripture, especially prophecy, to comprehend what the Bible really say.

      First, it implies a remnant, 10% per the 10 virgins parable, will be saved at any given resurrection while the above passage say that's God's doing. Second, civilization is a "school master" (Gal 3:24) teaching "daughters of men" how to become "sons of god" (Gen. 6:2) and because most Christians don't study reincarnation they do not see the Bible teaches it in conjunction with earth being a school. Now we must "reason with god" (Isa 1:18) about our schooling. Reasoning will determine if this incarnation is your last you will be forced into a "New Birth" (John 3:3-8) causing you to forsake everything civilization has to offer you (Mat. 28:19-20) and wander the earth observing all things (Mat 28:20). If not the thing to do is change your attitude about pleasing god - which is within and not outside of you (Luke 17:21) - into saying this is god's will for me so let me be satisfied as I am.

      Another thing you can do is "study to show yourself approved unto god, a worker needing not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth" by questioning everything seeming to contradict Christian beliefs or other scriptures like my first quote does. While studying be reminded of what Isaiah 28:9-10 tells us:

      "9 Whom shall he [god] teach knowledge? and whom shall he [god] make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk [religious teachers], and drawn from the breasts [religious doctrines].

      10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." That may be what you have sought but religious dogma doesn't allow you the liberty to do it.

      Elijah "NatureBoy"


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