A People Without Weakness--Wait, that's Us!

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 at 7:29 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at www.jeffrey-davis.net/blog/*

Recently, I've been coming to the belief that we live in dual realms. Not one seen and the other unseen, but that we have the ability to see and be aware of both. Not to overuse the analogy I so often default to here, but I believe it is very much like the Matrix, in some ways, and very much unlike it in others. I believe that many of us live in and out of both realms while being only conscious of the one, the physical. Coincidently, I do not think that physical is synonymous with real. I think the other realm, the spiritual realm, is more real--even by definition--than the physical (do I sound too much like Morpheus here?).

At any rate, I got to thinking about the subject for the post after reading a post over at Lacey's blog, who is my best female friend, outside of my awesome and beautiful wife that is. My relatively new blog bud Kyle, whom I met through Lacey, has a post touching on this as well. Anyway, on to the freakin' topic. (Man I can ramble...)

For the past several years, at least, the institution and system of the church has been on a "spiritual gifts" kick. If you've ever "served" at a "church" then chances are great you've taken a spiritual gifts test who's purpose is to tell you in what areas you are gifted. These gifts are typically derived, like virtually everything else in the church, from the Bible and are traditionally found in two places. Now, I don't see anything wrong with discovering what areas you are "gifted in", however, I do think the nomenclature of such is faulty.

For example, anyone who would seek to discover their "spiritual gifts", as they exist in the Bible, would agree that Jesus the Christ possessed all of them in equal measure. He was, after all, the full man, second Adam, etc. So here's the question, if Jesus exuded all of the "spiritual gifts" (and by very nature, he must), and it is the life of Christ (not our own) that lives through and as us [Galatians 2:20, Colossians 1:27, Colossians 3:4, etc], then how could we be gifted in one or two areas and not the others?

The apostle Paul even writes to Timothy to inform him that he already has everything he needs for life and godliness through the one who called him by his own glory and goodness [Jesus]. So perhaps we need not figure out "where we're gifted", for that affords us an excuse in a great many circumstance, but rather to discover in what ways the life of Christ is being revealed through us at that particular juncture in time--while realizing it may (and should be) different at some point in the future.

Back to the excuses. If we are able to take a test and hence claim, "I'm a prophet [i.e. tell it like it is, see things black & white, etc]...", then that gives us an excuse to NOT exercise grace in our dealings with people (that one, by the way, is unfortunately from personal experience :-/ ). Another example might be to close the doors of our home to someone who needs a place to stay because we "don't have the gift of hospitality". What a crock of crap that would be. If Christ is everything, and his life is ours, then we will take on all (not just the one or two) of the facets of his nature over time. So if you go about taking "spiritual gifts tests", I hope you're able to see that it is merely an indicator of how you are being transformed into the image of Christ in the now and the physical. [Perhaps one's passions and "gifts" are actually quite unrelated. Hmm, that's another post for another day. I'll have to think on that one. Sorry, stream of consciousness there...]

So you, yeah you, did you know that in the real reality you are without weakness, have everything you need for life and godliness, contain within yourself perfect love and the life of Christ, and are [gasp] perfect? I wonder what would happen if we all lived our lives in the constant awareness of that reality...

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Blogger Sam Davidson said...

Posts like this are the reason you need to be writing more often.

December 05, 2006 8:53 AM

Blogger Slartibartfast said...

Dang, this is good.

I have been through the Network classes and been told the obvious - that my gift is musical.

But I've been put in situations in the past year where I've had to be a teacher, or a behind-the-scenes person, or an administrator, even a prayer warrior. These are all things that my "natural self" is not geared toward. I didn't like doing them, to be quite honest.

But, in retrospect, that's exactly what God wanted, I believe. He did great things (through me) and I was unable to take credit for any of it. I am not a teacher, yet, I taught. Same with all the others.

Thanks for a very insightful post.

December 05, 2006 9:10 AM

Blogger Lacey said...

so, what does this mean in regards to my post? :)

i hope i didn't say something to lead you to believe i base my efforts only around designated gifts, etc.

December 05, 2006 10:19 AM

Blogger Lacey said...

in saying designated i mean gifts that someone believes they possess based on experience, taking tests, affirmation from others.

December 05, 2006 11:22 AM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

Sam, ur "spiritual gift" must be deceit. ;-)

slart, truly a great point indeed. It's amazing what we can learn and grow when we hear and follow the Spirit...

Lace, ha ha, after re-reading the post i can see how it could be read that i'm slamming u and kyle. Yet I assure you by no means am I. I just meant to simply say that yall's posts spurred this line of thinking in my own twisted head and to thank you for doing so. And no, OF COURSE i don't think you only act "within your area of giftedness...". I know ya better than that...you're a rebel, like me ;-). I suspect that a test result would be enough to make you act in the complete opposite, just because you can, lol, j/k.

December 05, 2006 11:50 AM

Anonymous kyle said...

what i am thinking is that we all do have different personality traits and "ways we are" that determine how we work with others.

what i love about the Clifton strength finder is how it doesn't say you are this or that, instead it says you have a tendency to lead this way, or assist this way. It then becomes more about how different people work together and less about who has which gift and who can do what.

In that regard i agree with you jeff.

December 05, 2006 4:06 PM


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