My family loves sports, but particularly baseball and softball. From the Cleveland Indians to the Toledo Mud Hens to the Southview Cougars, we love to play, watch, cheer on, coach, and support our teams! As a girl growing up, I begged my father for a glove when a little league field was built at the end of our street. Despite my pleadings, his response was that I was a girl and didn’t need one. What’s funny is that many years later, he loved watching his grandson and granddaughters play high school ball! If you think about it, many different roles, skills, and people are needed to put on a baseball or softball game. For example, at the professional level, you need players, coaches, assistant coaches, athletic trainers, uniforms, equipment suppliers and manufacturers, food and beverage vendors, managers, owners, communications staff, sports reporters, travel and transportation organizers, hotels and their staffs, umpires, and of course the fans! All of these roles are important. Many require special abilities, skills, and gifts, and without even one, the whole experience would suffer!
Think of a baseball game as an analogy of spiritual gifts.
Theologian W.R.F. Browning defines a spiritual gift as “an endowment which may be given by the Holy Spirit,” and “supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the Church.”
To serve others in our church, in our community, and beyond, we need to know and understand our spiritual gifts. A spiritual gifts test can be found at www.cedarcreek.tv/serve/spiritualgifts. If you haven’t taken it yet, you should prayerfully consider it. Over the past several years. I’ve taken the test several times, and each time, I have become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses accompanying my gifts! The reason for understanding your intentional gifts is to know your potential for helping others.
As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth and Christians everywhere in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11:
7A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the spiritual gifts you have bestowed upon me. Help me to know them and understand my potential for using them to serve others. Amen.
This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Daily Bible Study, a Lead Mentor Mom for Momentum, and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education, has served on a public-school board, and serves on a charter school board. She is married with three children and two grandsons.
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