12/09/2005

Part 2 of Gifts and Talents

Okay, start with the prior post if you get to this one first. It's a question and answer related to that post, which I do not mind doing. To discuss with me personally at length beyond this: email me. To talk to the group, I'll pipe in and out on the comment line...so go back and check your comment their if you bring up a question...someone may answer it there.

To The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: I was defining gifts Biblically according to I Cor. 13, and Galations, something or other. (3 or 5)

There are some talents, I suppose, which could fall under gifts of service, but many that don't really seem to be Spiritually empowered "gifts", but just human talent. If a person was a mechanic before coming to know Christ, it would seem that that talent would be "fleshly".

...but, is it? If God wanted, he could have limited his ability even as a non-believer. Right? God is making even non believers to a certain extent, right? Even those who are talented.

All that confuses me somewhat.

I think often the implication is implicit rather than explicit in teaching. More a matter of the words we use to teach something rather than a true disagreement I'm talking about here.

I have heard four respected, respectable teachers in the last month teach the talents are fleshly, more inclined to glorify the flesh; spiritual gifts are of the Spirit, unexplainable, more inclined to glorify the Spirit--they cannot be humanly explained.

Does that not imply that Spiritual gifts are preferrable, higher, more worthy, more to be sought after? Scripture does say to eagerly desire the greater gifts, and certainly, we do want the gifts of the Spirit! However, I hear Paul wanting to say here something he says in another place just what I am wanting to say: "Do the one without neglecting the other." Do the one, and the other may flow without our digging at it so much. Obsessing over it. Worrying about it. Wondering if we have it. Concerned that it is the hidden key we have not yet found in our Christian lives. Often it comes across that way, yet, the Spirit is in us. If He is active in us. If we are obeying, it should be naturally flowing already. We may not see it, but others likely do.

I often speak of "balance". Funny, because three years ago a friend spoke that to me as something I should seek. I didn't even know what was meant or what it was. "Balance? Can you tell me what you are referring to, exactly?" This has been one of the greatest teaching points of the last three years of my life. To do the one, without neglecting the other. To enjoy the fleshly and mundane as a release point for the weight of the spiritual responsibilities and disciplines. I leaned toward the misunderstanding that everything fleshly was inferior. I now do not feel so much this way. There has been a freedom and a release in this understanding I have never had before. For the first time, I can say I am really enjoying life. I feel like I was mean to enjoy something besides the superiority of the spiritual. Now, the earthly joys are a dim shadow of the all surpassing knowledge of knowing Him. But, God also enjoys our enjoying life as an act of our worship to Him. Does this not strike anyone else as profound? I see and understand this most as a mother. On days I watch my kids having fun and just enjoying the day, playing together cooperatively rather than griping and complaining and picking and bored, wishing their was something more exciting to do..."Ah! Oh! I am SO blessed!" I rather think this is how God feels.

We want to think we could be doing something oh so much more significant, when some days, I hear Him say to me, "Okay, what is the thing that needs to be done?" I say, "Washing the dishes." And He says, "Let's go do it together. Do it unto me. That is what will give me pleasure." And I feel a sense of His joy and satisfaction in my work come over me again. We get so caught up in the "greater" at times...we lose the pleasure of just doing the next thing that needs to be done, gifting or not. I suppose this may come down to the heart of the servant..."I don't care if I 'shine' in this or not. Am 'noticed' in this or not. This is my strongest point or not."

To me, this is the joy of "a life of worship" I was referring to a couple days agao. This is the key to learning to have rest. This is the relaxation needed to carry a life filled with the greater gifts. Valuing family, enjoying friends. The mundane is the relief point.
There is such a huge feeling of responsibility that comes with 'greater gifts', if you never learn to also focus on enjoying the release of the mundane, you will be overwhelmed by them. They are too great for us in our fleshly state without the thought of balance. This is a lesson I have not fully learned. But, perhaps I am straying from the question.

So often in my own life, and many in their Christian lives...people are looking for the key, the key that will unlock their service, their Christian life to it's fullest. The thing they are missing. I just want to say to that person that Christ is the beginning and the end. The gifts will flow. He will make us.

It may help to learn to identify gifts for us to have an inkling as to where and how to coooperate, but, something in me wants to just say: "Are you really doing what you already know to do? Do that, give it to Him, everything, and I guarantee you that the gifts will flow to help you do it effectively." Oh, yes, we can learn to walk in gifts more effectively by study and reading and exemplifying others we respect. But, I think we can obsess over it. Perhaps I say this because I've walked with some people out of balance for a season...perhaps where God was calling them. But, that is not where He was calling me, and that's okay. Doesn't make me inferior. It makes me where God wants me and them where God wants them.

Well, I feel like I'm rambling. The areas we stumble around with can get distracting to us, I suppose, to teach us. I just wish there was more clear teaching in this area. And perhaps it is not as clear as we'd like to believe anyway.

Thanks for listening, considering, and thinking along with me. If you get an epiphany or have a revelation on this in the next few weeks, come back and comment...I get the comments by email and the blog they link back to. I'll see it.

~Me

1 comment:

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

I need more time to ponder this topic. I am fully aware of spiritual gifts and have taken many tests to reveal my own. But I have not been exposed to much talk about the difference between talents and gifts.