|My wonderful friends just after two of us were baptized.|
I have the most wonderful small group in the whole world. Every time I'm with them it is such a time of encouragement! We've been going through Ephesians and just started talking about our spiritual gifts.
Now I don't know about you guys, but when I hear "spiritual gifts test" a tiny piece of me dies. It seems like every small group I've ever been in has taken a gifts survey and by now I can just pick out the answers to get the results I want. That was until I took this awesome one called "The Call" (I can't find the website for it now, but if you want to know more just email me) and sat down with a life coach (yep like on Oprah!).
Now if you're anything like me you would be beyond skeptical of some random life coach telling you about your personality and spiritual gifts, but seriously this was legit. Geri, the life coach, was so encouraging and edifying and really assured me that it was okay to be who I was and that was how God made me. I was able to finally get over my bitterness and hardness of heart to really see who God made me to be.
It made me see spiritual gifts in a whole new light, truly as gifts that the Lord has given me. And so I began to function more in the areas God gifted me while intentionally growing the areas where he did not.
But tonight, I had a whole new realization! God showed me his body through the different giftings and how they can be used to edify one another. I always knew it was great to have people who aren't alike to round out the body of Christ. That there needs to be all sorts of people to grow the Church. But I guess I always saw them as tiny little isolated islands. The evangelists would share the gospel, the hospitable would make them feel welcome, the pastoral and teachers would exhort and teach, and the servers would clean up after.
Every "gifting" just kind of doing their own thing apart from each other. But through the wise words of an amazing woman in my small group, I saw how we needed to function intermingled in order to grow.
How you can show leadership within the context of serving, and how you can be merciful and compassionate while standing firmly on truth.
Which makes so much sense! Especially when you think of the context in which God placed the spiritual gifts in Ephesians 4. Paul talks about the body growing and building itself up as each supporting ligament and joint does it's part. (4:16) Ligaments and joints aren't just hanging out in their own little world but joining together two different parts of the body, just as our spiritual gifts tie into each other.
What I saw and felt tonight was a time of encouraging each other in the gifts God has given us. "Jen, you're so good at teaching and shepherding!" "I can really see that God has given you the gift of hospitality, you're so quick to open up your home and serve people!" "It's neat how God has used your gift of evangelism with what you do"
What a blessing to be able to see the body of Christ functioning as he intended-
...joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Eph 4:16)
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