These are all questions that have intense interest for a multitude of people – young and old.
These are questions that have a great deal of focus both with young and old alike.
The question is also the invention of Western Culture.
Now, I’m not saying that there is no value in taking a gifts survey. It may confirm what you are good at, and what conditions help you function best. But, to be honest with you, I have never…I mean not ever witnessed much – if anything – change in a person’s approach to life and spirituality after they’ve taken one – two – three – or, more of them.
That may be a bit of an exaggeration on my part. Perhaps it’s not a fair judgement. I’m just saying what I’ve honesty – over time – observed.
Our culture is one of “the specialist.” Has it made us (really) any better? I’ll let people with higher pay grades than I argue that. But, I suspect – when all is said and done – focusing on the discovery of a person’s “giftings” often only makes them more self centered. Tough words, but true.
Your Assignment and your Calling are not the same thing.
Our “Calling” is captured in the words of the Greatest Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
(Mark 12:30) He then added that equally, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
It’s interesting to me that He immediately used an extreme example by telling the story of the Good Samaritan. The Good Half-breed. The Jewish outcast, God-forsaken, lower-than-life.
When you wonder about who God considers to be your “neighbor,” think about someone that you want to have absolutely nothing to do with. Be honest about it.
We want to squirm on that one and play word games, but Jesus gives us as much wiggle room as the thickness of a gnat’s whisker.
The Assignment: The immediate task given by our Master. The length of time required for that task may be an hour, or most of a life-time. Regardless, it is never, ever to be “owned.”
In my 40 years of ministry life and observation…
The majority of the people are not really all that sure about their gifts. Even after numerous tests, they are still “seeking.”
A “word” I believe the Holy Spirit put on my heart:
A person may become sure of their special gifts, (which usually includes the question of the D word “Destiny.”) and still never fulfill their “Call” while a person may never be sure of their gifts and yet successfully fulfill their primary calling (as described above.)
If you are unsure. Be at rest. I don’t believe God cares that much about how “sure” you are and how many gift surveys you take. I do believe, however, that He cares about your
pursuit of loving Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. As well as loving your neighbor as yourself.
Western Culture and it’s specific practices and “rights” are not the same as the Culture of God’s Kingdom. It may be a very good thing to not look at them as the same.
Focused Concern About What Our Gifts Are May Sound Godly, But It’s Really The Pursuit Of Self Seeking. Our Purpose and Destiny Is To Be Lovers. Of God and Each Other (including the outcast). That’s Enough On One Plate For Any Man Or Woman.