Just using some down time to catch up on my online bible study blog assignments.
This morning I had a conversation with my daughter about how she was a gift from God. She quickly replied that she came from belly. A verse immediately came to mind:
O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You created my inmost being and knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139
So we looked it up because I wanted her to understand that even though she was formed in my “belly”, she was indeed created and knitted together by God. That just as her aunt just finished carefully and lovingly knitting her a new hat and scarf that our God, the creator, knitted every bit of her together. When we looked up the verse, we went a little further:
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Funny but unexpected this verse popped up again tonight. How fitting when the blog I’m supposed to catch up on is about the personality and spiritual gift tests that we took a week ago now. The hardest thing about really taking a look at your strengths is also accepting your weaknesses. I’ve taken personality tests before but I’d never heard of the one that Renee Swope uses in “A Confident Heart.” Turns out I am a combination of a Phlegmatic and a Melancholy. Neither of which sounded good just looking at these two words but this is what the test says:
Phlegmatic – Desires Peace. Needs times of quiet, reduced stress, feeling of worth, respect. Strengths include calm, adds balance, witty, low-key, considerate, reliable and makes peace. Ok not too bad. Relational challenges (how pc is that?) includes stubborn, uninvolved, procrastinates, unenthusiastic, hard to motivate, denial, careless. That doesn’t sound like me, right? Maybe I’m in denial.
Melancholy – Desires Perfection. Needs understanding, stability, support, space and silence. Strengths include works well alone, planner, organized, accurate, intuitive, fair, creative, emphatic, and good with numbers. Ok, I can see some of those. But creative? Relational challenges includes easily depressed, lacks spontaneity, naively idealistic, thrifty to extremes, doesn’t do well under pressure, perfectionist, hard to please and discontent.
Wow not to thrilled with the results of those but then the other two categories: Choleric: Desires Control and Sanguine: Desires Fun are not that much better. So what did I really learn for that one. None of us are all good!
But Spiritual Gifts are another story. According to the Bible, each Christian is given Spiritual Gifts by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:5-8 both go in to the different types of Spiritual Gifts. It is commonly believed that their are seven types of gifts. These gifts indicate the way God designed you to serve and complete the body of Christ. According to the test on the Online Bible Study blog and one I have taken in the past, I have the gifts of giving, service and mercy in that order. This is how each gift is described in “A Confident Heart”:
Giving – A person with the gift of giving has unique financial insights, often has resources to meet needs, and enjoys sharing material blessings.
Service – If you have the gift of service, you demonstrate love by serving people and enjoy helping others while meeting their needs. You also prefer behind-the-scenes assignments instead of being out front.
Mercy – You feel compelled to help people reduce pain. Many times those with this gift have experienced pain and can therefore empathize with the hurts of others.
Ok so those do describe me. I am absolutely not a prophet or teacher. Those are not my strong areas but I wasn’t made to be. God never intended those roles to be for me. When God gives us a gift, he expects us to use it for his glory. Whether it be resources that others need, help that we can provide, or empathy and support that we can give the suffering. These gifts may come with a sacrifice – you may feel compel to give instead of keeping things for yourself and you may experience painful events so that you can empathize with those that suffer. We all have our crosses to bare even Jesus fulfilled his God given purpose as painful as it was and where would we be if he hadn’t. I’m proud to make my sacrifices even if they break my heart for I know God uses all things for his purposes and is with me all the way.
Thank you Lord for knitting me in my mother’s womb, for the many blessings in the form of both trials and gifts, and for being with me no matter what. All I have is from you and is yours to give and take away – possessions and people. Help me to not place the gift above the giver.