What’s your sign? It’s the pop culture question often asked when one is looking to classify individuals into personality categories. It is steeped in the traditions of man’s astrology most noteably of the Babylonian period. Society often uses it as the source of figuring out the quirks and traits of others. Have you heard of that other question? What’s your gift? It is steeped in the tradition of Yeshua and highlights the unique character of individuals that make up The Body. Here’s a pretty cool story that describes The Gifts.
There is a dinner party with the seven guests. Each guest has a different gifting. At the end of the meal you begin clearing the dinner plates and begin to serve desert. As you are bringing out a tray with the desert plates on it, you accidentally trip, sending the deserts flying and crashing to the floor. The story of the dinner guests helps exemplify the seven spiritual gifting of Romans 12:5-8.
The guest with the gift of prophecy proclaims, “I could see this coming. You can’t clear plates and bring desert at the same time.” (The motivation is to correct the life of the waiter.) The guest with the gift of mercy quickly follows, “Don’t worry; it could have happened to anyone.” (The motivation is to relieve embarrassment.) The one with the gift of serving jumps up and begins cleaning the mess. (The motivation is to fulfill a need.) The one with the gift of teaching analyzes the situation and responds with, “The real reason the tray fell was due to the equilibrium. See, of the seven deserts, five were on one side and only two on the other.” (The teacher’s motivation is to discover why it happened.) The guest with the gift of exhortation gift pipes up, “It’ll be alright, next time serve desert with the meal.” (The motivation is to correct for the future.) The one with the gift of giving thinks a moment. Noticing the carpet needs to be professionally cleaned and the plates are shattered, responds with “Here is $100 to cover the cost of the dishes and carpet cleaning.” (The motivation is to give to relieve a need.) Finally, the gift of leadership begins calling out directions. “Kris, could you go grab some paper towels? Sally, would you mind getting some more deserts put together. Molly, get the vacuum!” (The motivation is to keep things moving in the right direction.)
So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:5-8
Chip Ingrim, Pastor and Founder of the Living on the Edge radio programming highlights the spiritual gifts a bit further.
• Prophecy – identifies what went wrong, has a sense of the culture, opinionated, corrective, works well in large groups but may be prone to pride and being insensitive to feelings
• Mercy – cheerful to towards those who are suffering especially those who deserve punishment, can detect feelings, wants to relieve the embarrassment experienced by others but has a tendency to not be firm and be misunderstood by the opposite sex
• Service – meets the practical needs, often asks “what can I do to help?”, behind the scenes worker, detects personal needs, more neglected in the Body and tends to overemphasize the practical needs and may become bitter when acts are not recognized
• Teaching – presents the truth of God’s Word, loves to study, doctrine oriented, often says “Show me the meat?” but may overemphasize content rather than application and be boastful in knowledge
• Exhortation – reassures, stimulates faith of others, often thinks “How can we move to wholeness?”, comes along side others, challenges others to grow, emphasizes practical application, described as a “fix it” person that may be discouraged if no change occurs and focused on temporary fixes
• Giving – earns, saves, and gives money/resources to the Lord cheerfully, often thinks “What can I give to meet the need?”, sees opportunities but may be prone to pride and judging others by their bank account or use of resources
• Leadership – sees what needs to be done, how things fit together in the big picture and coordinates it, mobilizes others, delegates, often asks “What are the results?” but may be prone to pride and forgetting the purpose of the project
So, what’s your gifting?
Abba, we thank you for the wonderful message received today. Reveal to us our primary spiritual gifting and help us to operate in the fullness of you for the Kingdom of God. – Amen