My Fitness

Thursday, June 29, 2017

natural vs spiritual gifting

Briefly, the difference between a natural gifting and a spiritual gifting is its use to the Body of Christ. Someone can be a gifted speaker and not be edifying or up-lifting. Whereas another person might be clumsy and ineloquent and yet still edifying and up-lifting. If you are merely talented, then you have natural giftings. If you are a natural or not, but God is using your talent (or lack of talent) for his glory and the building-up of the Saints, then you are spiritually gifted.

Similarly, if you think it's your duty to "speak up" for the "truth" and can't do it lovingly, i.e. a way that others can receive it and hear it, then you do not have that spiritual gifting.

I'm writing this because I've known and have personally encountered people who think they are somehow more "spiritually aware" than those around them. It's not been true thus far. If you have to tell people how spiritually aware you are, you are most likely a very new believer. And "new" doesn't always correspond to elapsed time. You can be a believer for 60 years and still be "new".

My problem comes from receiving these people's rebukes and "words from God" that if in the Old Testament they'd be stoned for speaking because of their lack of truth. But no matter how many times these people speak to me and try to "lovingly correct" me (over things that are simply not there) they've never been right. Even if part of what they say is right, their conclusion has always been faulty, hurtful, and godless. For a long time I felt that maybe these people saw me more clearly than I saw myself. I thought I was crazy. Luckily, their lies were revealed. I no longer live in slavery to their vindictiveness. I don't know why these people chose me to bully. Perhaps they saw me as easy prey since I was wanting to please God and they used a spiritual front to attack.

But now I attack back:

If someone says something unloving even if true, this is not the spirit of God. God is love. If they come back with, "What do you want me to say? You want me to LIE?" This is a sure sign of immaturity. A mature person knows that you don't have to say anything. A mature person knows that God works with people through his Word and the Body of Believers and that just because someone has an unresolved issue still doesn't mean they always will. A mature person knows that their past is not the standard by which other people are measured. A mature person knows to not compare someone else's struggles with their own strengths. A mature person won't send you a text message accusing you of things they heard from another source without at least finding out the circumstance; and they probably won't assume that it's their place to correct. A mature person won't sit a group of people in a circle and single out someone about something without first talking to them; they certainly won't then ask if anyone else has anything else to add. These are the actions of hatred, not love.

It's the lack of humility in these actions that is the tell-tale sign of the lack of the Spirit. If you can't admit that you're a hypocrite, then how can anyone believe anything you say? You're still lying to yourself. Every mature Christian I know will readily admit their hypocrisy. They readily admit their constant need for repentance. They readily admit that they still suck and are in need of Christ. Even while they have Christ they recognize that they are messing up and it's only by God's grace that there is anything worthy in them - it isn't them, it's Christ in them.

So if you find yourself thinking of yourself more highly than you should, bring yourself low before God does. It's must easier and pleasant to humble yourself than to be humiliated by God. 

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