Participation Required: My Spiritual Gift Is ____

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59 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    My experience is similar to yours, Michael. I’ve full on prophesied once. It was personal/predictive, and it scared the heck out of me for a long time. It came to pass, but this is not a gift that I “have”.

    I’ve been told most of my Christian life that there is a gift that I have, but I’m not discussing it here.

    I’ve been in counseling situations where I feel that God was giving me wisdom in an extraordinary way, almost like reading a script, and others where I felt that I was on my own. I actually tried to figure out how to …harness?… the wisdom in counseling thing, which I soon realized was folly.

    It’s all murky to me. I’m easily confused.

  2. Gary says:

    Ain’t it the truth, Jim. Ya try to nail God down and it just doesn’t work. He is un-formulaic. He is relational.

    I don’t feel comfortable talking about my spiritual gifts here. It’s too personal. And don’t anyone go thinking I’m being humble. It’s not that. I’ll just say there are things I like to do and sometimes I get to do them.

  3. Paige says:

    No clue anymore…….

  4. Michael says:

    Jim,

    We’re on the same page here…I’ve seen God work through people who weren’t even aware of what was going on.

  5. Jim says:

    Gary,

    “Formulaic” is exactly what I was looking for. I would try to analyze everything I did in an attempt to find the secret sauce, which sort of negates the whole gift concept.

  6. Bob Sweat says:

    Paige, I’m with you. If this question were ask of me a few years ago, my answer would have been quick. But now, I couldn’t tell you. I used to tell people who asked me, “How do I know what my gifts are?”, start serving, and God will show you. But I have the wrong pedigreed where I’m at now. Maybe I’m just tired, or too old, or maybe both.

  7. Jim says:

    Michael @ #4

    THAT is an incredibly beautiful thing to see. You’re witnessing a Holy moment, perhaps trying to keep a poker face on.

    “You OK man?”. “Yeah, I think I have something in my eye….”

  8. Gary says:

    Michael,
    That’s me. Unaware. I’ve said it before. My best quality is that I show up.

  9. Jim says:

    Bob,

    I think it’s better to ask a close friend, a spouse, or adult kids. If asked, I’d be inclined to say, “ask my wife, or someone else you see me with a lot. It’s easier for me to tell you what I don’t have, like self awareness….”

  10. Michael says:

    Gary,

    That’s the beginning of every gift…be there.

  11. Michael says:

    I’m out for a while…taking Trey to the doctor.

  12. Jim says:

    Funny-I didn’t see #8 before I wrote #9.

  13. Jim says:

    Blessed are those who show up. Blessed are those who know someone who shows up.

    I need to show up more.

  14. London says:

    Because it’s required, I’ll post, but I’ll be passing just like everyone else on it.
    It’s not really something I would be comfortable discussing on here, but I’m pretty certain of what my gift(s) are.

    I’m sure there are folks here that would say i don’t have any cause I’m not a “good enough” christian in the first place, ..but, there ya go.

  15. covered says:

    It’s easier to go backwards and eliminate the gifts we don’t have… This is a very subjective topic but here’s something that I learned. The specific need at a specific moment determines what gift is given. In the mission field I witnessed miraculous healings yet I don’t have the gift of healing. Having the gift of prophecy when the floor needs mopping makes that gift worthless for that moment.

    I would love to see a thread here with the usual suspects discussing what they think the actual gifts are. Since BD has proven himself to be a man of conviction and faith, I think I can be open to things that a year ago I wouldn’t have bought into. See, this is a controversial topic.

  16. Ixtlan says:

    Well, since its required:

    All of them (except interpretation of tongues) at one time or another. I don’t believe gifts particularly “rest” upon someone as much as the Spirit gives freely as He wills. They rest upon Him, not us. One that is predominant with me is the gift of teaching.

  17. covered says:

    I am aware of the CC position on this but I would love hear from people I respect from other camps like Josh, BD, MLD & G. One thing I know for sure, I’m not buying what Johnny Mac is selling.

  18. My spiritual gift is to sit quietly and listen to others. 🙂

  19. covered says:

    While wearing your speedos? 🙂

  20. Bob Sweat says:

    MLD

    In your dreams. 😉

  21. Bob Sweat says:

    While holding your pot stirrer.

  22. erunner says:

    I wanted the gift of tongues so badly as I thought that something “supernatural” would validate me.I tried on my own so many times to receive the gift that at some point I became convinced I had received it.

    The truth is I never believed I had received that gift and whatever it was that I was doing was purely of my flesh. So I have accepted that I had conned myself enough so I could get some spiritual cred.

    The interesting thing was I laid hands on my wife at home and she received the real thing.

    I think I’ve been chasing the supernatural too much in my life as if would replace the feelings I longed to have that would validate my faith in my confused mind.

    As I grew up in an alcoholic home I shut down emotionally to survive the chaos. Much of my Christian life was spent trying to manufacture or convince God to give me my false sense of validation. For that I am truly sorry.

  23. Bob,
    I didn’t say I used my spiritual gift – just stating what it is.

  24. erunner says:

    A bit more….. I was taught that to have real power and effectiveness as a Christian the sign gifts were imperative. I couldn’t reconcile that with what I saw others who didn’t possess those gifts doing and at times being martyred in their lives in serving God. It made no sense to me.

    More than once I have had people prophecy to me things that never came to pass. One time someone did speak over me and it was spot on yet this same person uttered something over me that turned out false.

    I like to talk and share with people. Because of that I’ve had many people tell me I should be a pastor when the fact is I never had the desire or the gifting to be one.

    All of those voices through the years served to create a lot of angst and confusion for me. It seems prudent to be slow in pronouncing and saying things to others that could serve to only do no real good. Yet I believe in the gifts but believe they should be handled with tremendous care and to be totally void of any spiritual pride.

  25. Jtk says:

    Mercy.

    It doesn’t always work though
    🙂

    I haven’t found one I don’t want though.

    When the mockers say, “If you have a gift of healing, why dont you go to a hospital?”

    I say “why don’t you with a teaching gift go to an an atheist convention?”

    Still waiting for an answer.

  26. Nonnie says:

    I’ve heard it said that God gives you passion and gifts hand in hand. My passion is to. encourage others in trusting Jesus, resting In His promises, His compassion, goodness, forgiveness, mercy and grace. I used to do that in teaching (formal) settings but now more in hugging , telling stories, singing His promises in simple songs, and any variety of ways The Lord brings my way. I pray I am open to whatever, however, and wherever The Lord leads and gifts.

  27. ( |o )====::: says:

    Encourager
    Enthusiastic
    Wired for the arts

  28. Ian Elsasser says:

    My primary gift is teaching. I have evidenced others on occasion but teaching has been my ministry.

  29. Tim says:

    “I have my own take on this…I believe God gives the gifts as they are needed day by day, thus one person could walk in many of the gifts in their lifetime.”

    I agree.

    @16 – “All of them (except interpretation of tongues) at one time or another. I don’t believe gifts particularly “rest” upon someone as much as the Spirit gives freely as He wills. They rest upon Him, not us. One that is predominant with me is the gift of teaching.”

    +1

  30. Michael says:

    I’m not sure where this story fits, but it does.

    The other night I was struggling deeply with some issues when a friend texted me about a book he wanted to send me.
    He did so…and that book contained the very answers to the questions that were vexing me greatly.
    It was straight from God…but my friend had to hear and obey the Spirit on my behalf.

  31. j2theperson says:

    I don’t know. Probably none of them. I don’t necessarily want any either.

  32. Steve Wright says:

    I also don’t know to what extent God uses the abilities and talents He puts in us at birth – talents that would still be there (and used) just not for God if we were never saved.

  33. ( |o )====::: says:

    One thing’s for sure, talents are not to be hidden away because we’re too chicken to invest time and effort to make them grow.

    Jesus’ story of the talents was tragic in that some generous person gives with reasonable expectation of return and one of the recipients never cultivates the relationship with the investor so his image of the investor remains cold, distant and fearful. if only that bloke had said to the gracious and generous investor, “Wow, I’m freaked out and afraid that I’m going to screw this up! Please spend time with me to help me learn how to make this talent grow!”

    Not only would he have learned a few process things, he would have netted a sweeter relationship with The Giver.

    …hmmm

  34. It is one thing to say, I like this or I choose that. This post is impossibly hard. It calls for us to say “I am..” In the background is a movie I love “The Prince of Tides.” The last monologue plays … “I am a teacher and a coach and a well-loved man,” says Nick Nolte. I never know why but it always makes me cry. That movie … well, another day.

    We serve a God who makes himself known as “I AM.” The son of God echoes the father via John’s report, “Before Abraham was I am.” (and all the others) He sends the Spirit into our hearts and we cry out “Abba!” That same Spirit gives us identity and that changes everything. But still, I cannot easily come here and easily declare a matter, but at your request my friend Michael Newnham I will say that more than any other thing I am a pastor/teacher.

    in the circles I inhabit there are many who want to tell me, “You are more than that…” I always answer the same. There is nothing more that a person can be than what his Father has made him. When your Father makes you a pastor anything else is a demotion. But the same would be said if I had been made an evangelist. The point is that when a Father tells his children who they are then ambition vanishes. We do not serve him out of desire for promotion but out of peace and devotion to Father.

    I do not view the gifts of I Cor. 12-14 as static. I view them as occasional, they flow as needed through many vessels. The gift of healing is not for a healer but for a sick person and so on. I do daily pray in the Spirit and it heals my soul like nothing else. I tell people that when a person prays in tongue it is like de-fragging a computer.

    I do believe in the functional 5-fold ministry as per Ephesians. And I think the gifts of Romans 12 are informative as constitutional motivations. I think a systematic view of gifts is elusive in scripture and primarily we know that basically we all need each other and we need the empowering of heaven’s great gift.

    I think I said more and less than I meant to…

  35. Hmmm,

    I did not see my long post … it may have vaporized.

    Ok … I am a pastor/teacher and I have the gift of … troublemaking

  36. London says:

    Are you guys saying talents and spiritual gifts are the same thing

  37. Michael says:

    I’m not…although at times they could be…

  38. London,

    They are not IMO… nor are they in scripture.

  39. Michael says:

    BD,

    I think you said it very well…I’ll just amen it. 🙂

  40. Rob Murphy says:

    On gifts and responsibility….
    I grew up in my family, my Dad and Mom decided to have children and they made a home for us. They gave us clothes to wear, bed to sleep in, food to eat, an audience with them to hear their stories and receive their love and affection. But I had to sleep in that bed. I had to choose to wear those clothes. I had to come to the dinner table to eat and I had to sit with them to hear their words of love, their good stories and receive their belonging.
    . I always knew I belonged to my family and doing those things didn’t make me deserve to be a part of my family, didn’t cause me to exist in the family. In the same way, Doing the things God has for us isn’t earning His favor or earning our salvation.
    Obedience isn’t conjuring up a ‘to do’ list so we look like we belong.
    Obeying God comes from Him; it’s consuming what He has provided for our strength, survival, belonging, comfort and help.
    So Paul says “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless”.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    My point about the talent thing is this. Before I came to Christ, I liked public speaking. I was good at it. I was the guy in those class projects who the rest of the team would say “You be the guy to present the project to the class” – was on a debate team…that sort of thing.

    Likewise, I enjoyed studying. Was able to remember a lot that I studied. Able to bring it back out (i.e. on tests).

    Likewise I enjoyed (and was capable) in teaching others. Tutoring..that sort of thing.

    So now I am a Christian and we start talking about the Spiritual gift of teaching…but what does that really mean?

    So maybe it is sort of a Jeremiah in the womb thing. The Lord puts these abilities in us, but we are to use them for His purpose and glory once He calls us to Himself? He “anoints” by His Spirit the abilities He already has given. Every good gift comes from Him, amen?

    (Obviously I am not talking about the miraculous gifts of the Spirit here)

    How many Christians with the gift of giving weren’t at least fairly charitable in their unsaved years? How many Christians with the gift of helps weren’t at least somewhat helpful and skilled with others before salvation?

  42. London says:

    I don’t believe they are the same either, that’s why I asked if that’s what people meant.

  43. filbertz says:

    Teaching.

    …and brevity.

  44. Paige says:

    Hahahah filbertz…… and I know there are more in you.

    BD. excellent……thank you.

  45. Teaching.

    I used to pray in tongues regularly, but as time goes on, I find myself exercising that less and less. Not sure why.

  46. filbertz says:

    Busted by Paige.

    Grilling Tri-tip, too.

  47. Noelle says:

    Required? ok.
    I would say encouragement. I think. :/
    And being super decisive.

  48. david sloane says:

    One of my spiritual gifts is to not take the bait and out my spiritual gifts here…

    Seriously, God does want His people to be aware of the gifting He has invested within them

    My opinion:
    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-gifts-of-holy-spirit-are-for-today.html

  49. brian says:

    When I first became a Christian I took this spiritual gifts and it came up that my “gifts” were helps and mercy, after about two or three years in the Christian religion I have tried really hard to give those gifts back because it just hurts so much. I could add more but wont. I do not believe I have those gifts or any gifts what so ever. That is a much safer way to go stealth in the faith. If I learned one thing one should be, in every single aspect of life one should be autonomous and absolutely anonymous. I am an island unto myself, I am a rock, well actually I am not but that sin is on my soul, I should be. We all should be.

  50. randallslack says:

    “If I learned one thing one should be, in every single aspect of life one should be autonomous and absolutely anonymous. I am an island unto myself, I am a rock, well actually I am not but that sin is on my soul, I should be. We all should be.”

    Brian, my sentiments exactly.

  51. Gary says:

    brian, You know you can’t give those gifts back. Those gifts are not only in you; they are you. You can’t divorce you from yourself. You are mercy. You are helps. You try to be an island and a rock but you are not those things. Brian is not those things. When you see pain and need you reach out. You help. You show mercy. You may have this intense struggle within yourself but you end up being who you are. If you really were an island and a rock you wouldn’t have that struggle. I’d rather have 1 friend with your gifts than a roomful of friends with other gifts. Mercy and helps are more significant than the other gifts, more important. A rock feels no pain. That’s not you. An island never cries. That’s not you. Before the storm the sky was a hazy shade of winter but now

    I’m such a dubious soul
    And a walk in the garden
    Wears me down
    Tangled in the fallen vines
    Pickin’ up the punch lines

    Last night the preacher said Paul Simon was the greatest lyricist of the 20th century. Did you hear that?

  52. Alan Hawkins says:

    Heard Johnny Mac today preach this text;

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
    Mt 7:15–23.

    He says Jesus was anticipating the arrival of the charismatic movement and condemned it ahead of time.

  53. Michael says:

    Alan,

    That is an excellent example of ignoring the historical and contextual basis of a text to beat beat your own hobby horse.
    This is not finishing well…we needed his true prophetic voice to speak to other matters.

  54. Ricky Bobby says:

    Ya, JMac and all the other flavors of Christian* always see “the other guy” as the one who the bible is talking about, not themselves.

    The truth is, the “fruits” described that only a “good tree” can produce and that a “bad tree” cannot produce are supposedly “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control” and “love your neighbor” etc…and supposedly the “bad fruit” is “debauchery, sexual impurity, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions” etc etc.

    Well, then there are no purely “good trees” and purely “bad trees”…we’re all trees that are a mix of good and bad.

    Atheists, Agnostics, Mormons, Catholics, Buddhists, even Calvary Chapel guys all exhibit both “good” and “bad” fruit.

    Many times, Atheists can be some of the most moral folks on the planet, while Christians* can be some of the rottenest humans ever to have evolved after creation.

    There is ZERO correlation that proves otherwise. JMac is purporting a mythology. Humans are a mix of good and bad fruit…all humans. The Transformation “good tree” Gospel is as mythological as anything out there.

    The argument to the contrary is so hilarious and self-contradictory that is appalling to an intellectually honest person.

    In one breath, the Selective Fundamentalist will hail: “Good fruit!” if you are a “Good Tree” your fruit will be GOOD and not bad!” then you ask if they still sin and that if they deny they still sin and bear bad fruit then the same bible calls them a “liar” and the truth is not in them…then they spin and wax on about Grace etc and that only Jesus was perfect and sinless…which I reply…”well, yes, there is only One ‘Good Tree’…and you and yours aren’t it”.

    That usually leads to silence or name calling of blocking me, LOL.

  55. A Believer says:

    BD,

    When considering Matthew 7 mentioned above, what I find interesting is the reason people offer for being accepted of God. They offer their own works (many of them great).

    Rather they should have offered their faith in the finished work of Jesus.

    “What must we do to do the works of God?” the Jews asked. And Jesus said, “This is the work of God- that you believe on Him whom He has sent”.

    I simply see MacArthur misusing the verse to take a cheap shot.

  56. Ricky Bobby says:

    I used to believe in “total depravity”…but that seems to be a myth as well.

    Humans are a mix of good and evil, good and bad…capable of doing wonderful things and terrible things…all from the same “tree”.

    If the bible is true in any regard, it is likely mostly metaphor and expresses some larger truths that just can’t be fully seen or known on this side of existence/consciousness.

    The “fire” of hell, a consuming fire…and even the bema seat where the bad stuff is “burned up” etc and what remains is the good stuff etc etc….all could be metaphor for some sort of cleansing away the evil in the next.

    Most likely, if the competing biblical narratives are at all true, then we are all simply transformed in the next (certainly not here in this existence, Christians* are more than enough evidence of that fact), the bad stuff is refined away (fire as a metaphor) and only the good remains.

    Christians* often describe the “good” found in all humans as “common grace” and the sin and bad fruit and evil found in all Christians* as “the flesh”.

    Well, most likely, if Jesus (whether ideal and metaphor or literal figure) truly paid the penalty for sin, and was the only truly “good tree” then whatever price required by some sort of eternal contract that needed blood as a payment for sin…was already paid. “it is finished”…no?

    Humans simply live as a mix of good and evil and then die and transition to the next…and hopefully all the bad and evil is stripped away and the common good and common grace in each of us lives on in the next existence/consciousness.

  57. filbertz says:

    Abe,
    “I simply see MacArthur misusing the verse to take a cheap shot.”

    In other circles that might be labeled ‘strange fire.’ 😉

  58. A Believer says:

    Fil,
    Your wordsmithing skillz never cease to amaze me!

  59. Andrew says:

    JMac is purporting a mythology. Humans are a mix of good and bad fruit…all humans. The Transformation “good tree” Gospel is as mythological as anything out there.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    I don’t think this is what JMac is saying. The fruit of the Spirit can only come from God because its His fruit. The works of the flesh are in all of us even after we become Christians until we die. JMac knows we still are sinners and still need forgiveness daily. its just that we now have a new life and new Lord. Just because an atheist can be a morally outstanding citizen is all relative in the grand scheme of things and is not fruit per say because it is devoid of God where all fruit flows from.

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