The Help

I am baffled by spiritual gifts tests.  While I’ve always considered myself of average intelligence, I just don’t get ‘em.  Maybe that’s my bad.  Surely I should be more insightful than I am.  Others, though, express the same concerns.  While it is true that “typing” tests are used world over, they have, well, mixed reviews.  Some say that millions of dollars are wasted on tests designed to predict success, and I’m not saying they have no validity, either.  It’s just that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which is widely circulated is often thought to have no more validity than the internet’s “Which Disney Princess Are You?”  Others may have used these to great effect, but knowing our gifts will avail nothing unless we put into practice what we know.

I remember being fascinated at one time with the subject of “giftedness.”  In former days, the topic may have received more play than at current, and a curious mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Particularly interesting to me was the way it appears certain gifts were used in specific biblical time-periods and not in others.  I know this is up for debate, and God can do the same things in all seasons, but it cannot be denied that miracles, prophecies and the like experienced birth and rebirths while lifetimes passed without much being said about them.  In any event, the important thing is that we recognize God as the Author and Attributor of all abilities.  No one has ever or will accomplish anything without the power or permission of God. 

The first century believers were attracted to what we call the “sign gifts.”  These were things like preaching, performing miracles and speaking in tongues.  It would be quite natural for a person to want to exercise abilities in which God’s power was so evident.  Problems presented though when people would attempt these things without divine approval or assume that these were the only gifts worth having.  There was and is also the element of human sinfulness in that such things tend to call attention to performance and the performer rather than the Provider.  It is the plain truth that many on the religious scene today are attention-seekers who do little when the mic is not on.  Any of the provisions of God are apt to be misused by His followers.

Paul wrote that the things of greatest honor are those which are most useful.  In fact, we tend to dishonor the things which are most necessary for our lives and survival.  We take them for granted while treasuring trinkets we seldom, if ever, need or use.  In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul spoke of a little gift called “helps.”  In all of my days, I have never happened upon an ability as valuable as that small step-child of all gifts.  How many times I have needed help.  Ask any pastor what is needed in his church, and he will exclaim, “Help!”  In seeking to fill high-profile positions with flashy resumes, we can overlook our most valuable resources; those being people who will help.  God has truly gifted the willing soul who will pitch in.

Many are those seeking acclaim and adoration- even in the service of God.  In a real way that is desiring earthly recognition and not looking forward to an eternal reward.  Jesus said that the praise of men was the only reward those who sought such would ever receive.  I am convinced that the work of God can better do without talent than without tenacity.  Sinewy and fibrous men and women built the edifices on which our secular world relies, and they have built the buildings and bridges of faith along the straight and narrow way leading to heaven.  Overlooked?  You bet they are.  Unrequited?  They weep alone in the dark night of their grief.  One day, however, everyone will know what is really valuable, and the roles played by the few for the many. 


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