GIFTS FOR GROWING AS A WHOLE PERSON

GIFTS FOR GROWING AS A WHOLE PERSON

A number of spiritual gifts are mentioned in I Corinthians Chapter 12-14. Salvation, love, hope, and faith are among them. Hope is extremely important in regaining one’s health and in growing as a person. Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., in researching the factors leading to improvement in mental health during group therapy identified hope as an essential element. Hope is not merely wishfulness, but a solid expectation of a positive future. There are online resources to help you understand the spiritual gifts given you by the Holy Spirit. I found different results from different surveys or tests, so I suggest you take three or four and compare them.

http://www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Congregations-and-Synods/Faith-Practices/Assessment-Tools

http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/test/adult

http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts

http://mintools.com/spiritual-gifts-test.htm This is the shorter test of the group.

I reviewed materials at one time for a church class on gifts of the Spirit and consequently developed our own study guide that could be used in three sessions. If you are wanting a Bible based, experiential study of the gifts, contact me.

Other gifts of God are related to capabilities that are inborn. Some of us are gifted in music, dance, math, science, languages, hand crafts, sports, art, leadership, peacemaking, (the list is nearly unending). You probably chose, or will choose, your profession from among the strengths or gifts that you possess.

Our weaknesses, our shortcomings, our unworthiness in the face of the law (religious, political, ethical, and spiritual) were topics that Paul wrestled with as he wrote to the congregations of the early Christian Church in Rome (Romans 3). He sensed that all of us either are or have been under the power of sin, that is, we have come short of the glorious greatness and beauty of God, and of God’s love and justice.

JUSTIFICATION A GIFT

Paul also believed that, somehow in Jesus, God had made it possible for us “to be justified by grace as a gift…effective through faith.” (Romans 3:21-26). He believed that we have the power to change through the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can invite the Holy Spirit to be in us and alongside us in any situation. The Spirit is sent to us and acts as mentor, advisor, comforter, encourager, strengthener, remind-er and pray-er in us who are open to receive God’s help.

HELPERS ARE GIFTS

Other gifts of God to help us in our growth are God’s people. Some are teachers, pastors, evangelists, administrators, and helpers of various kinds and various faiths. Jesus promised he would not leave his followers “orphans.” If we have no family or had to give up family for some reason, he (through God’s Spirit and family) provides parents and brothers and sisters. Some faith communities specifically designate “God-parents” for babies and new members and offer fellowship classes and prayer groups where similar kinds of relationships can grow.

The gifts we receive from God help us grow into whole beings, persons who have reached their whole capacities, and make it possible for us to help others grow into whole persons.

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