Talking About My Spiritual Gifts

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For the past few years, I’ve been paying attention to my spiritual gifts.

Let’s talk about what these things are.

To keep it simple, when we accept Jesus into our lives, we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings fruit and gifts. Everybody receives the fruit (or is capable of it) but the gifts are different. Nobody gets all of them and you only have perhaps 2-3. Of course, there is no real rule when it comes to what God wants to do.

Anyway, a spiritual gift is essentially viewed in a few ways:

  • Spiritual personality. Basically, the gifts you have help shape who you are, especially as a child of God.
  • “Superpowers”. In a way, you can view these as special abilities. Some people can heal. Some people can teach. Others can sense evil.
  • Calling. Sometimes, God gives you a gift and wants you to excel with that gift. So, a teacher may be called to be a great professor or something. Somewhere along the line, your gift generally leads to what you should be doing with your life. Specifically, God may desire for you to be worldly compensated as you use your gift in your career.

With all of that said, it’s not easy to figure out what gifts you have, sometimes. Sometimes, you can just tell from life experiences. Other times, others see it in you. Other times, perhaps God directly informs you of it.

Now-a-days, you can take quizzes (just like a personality quiz) to get an idea of what gifts you have. One quiz I took, several times, lists your top three results. Since I am a man of three nipples, as well as a fan of the holy trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I happen to liken the list of results.

Let me link you to the quiz I took. Go there to see the gifts and descriptions. Take the test yourself as well.

My top three results were always Discernment, Administration, and Serving/Ministering. Administration was number one twice, I think. Discernment was top once. It’s been years and sometimes I change answers but still get the same general results.

Anyway, I’m going to talk about my experiences using these gifts.

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What I Think About Shootings of Blacks and Police Officers

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Fine, I’ll dive into this mess.

I’m going to tell you what I think about an explosion of stories about black people…unarmed black people getting shot and killed. We’re starting to see people respond by shooting the police and killing them off.

I don’t think…

Well, look, I’m a brown male in his 20’s. It would appear I’m in the dead zone for my race and gender. My interaction with the police is limited and…sigh…positive.

I also have an uncle who is a police officer. People like him are stuck in the middle: He’s a cop; but he’s black. People expect him to pick a side; it’s a shame. He knows, as well as I do, there are good cops.

We can even say there are a LOT more good cops than bad.

Shooting an unarmed man (black men have been the primary known victims so that’s what I’ll use) is…well, it’s obviously bad. But why?

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10. Do Not Covet

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The grand finale. The last of the 10 commandment calls for us not to covet our neighbor’s stuff.

Let’s make sure we know what covet means. Merriam-Webster, take it away!

To desire enviously (what belongs to another)

Alright, so what does “envy” mean?

Painful or resentful awareness of another’s advantages

So then, to covet is to desire something in a painful or resentful way, what belongs to another. I had to look up “envy” because that’s the key word. It’s fine to want what others have. But, to enter a place where you resent what others have and would rather have it yourself is wrong.

Jealousy. Greed. You already know about it. Countless wars are built on a covet of resources that particular land may have. I’m not gonna talk about anything from 2001.

We live in a society that encourages competition of possessions. You have to have it if Bill next door got it. Or better. Bigger.

To covet is a form of materialism. That’s a problem. It’s especially a problem if you plan on going to heaven. You can’t bring this stuff with you, buddy.

It can lead us to break another commandment: stealing. We want what is not ours so bad we’ll just take it.

Another angle: Under appreciation for what God has given to us. Ah. Isn’t that something? We do this many times. We look at others and wonder why we are not in the state they are in.

Let me clear something up. I’m not comparing people in poverty vs mansions. Poor people deserve better.

What I am talking about is stupid stuff. You have a car that gets you from A to B with no problem. It’s seven years old. Mike just grabbed a current year model. You want that car. Instead of appreciating you have reliable transportation, you’re hating on the other guy. God gave you something and it’s not good enough for you. Okay then.

To covet is simply not good for anybody, including God. Be thankful for what you have. Better yet, stop looking at what other people have with those greedy, hateful eyes. You know what? Be happy for them. That’s right. Be happy for the victories of your fellow believers and even non believers.

9. Do Not Lie

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Huh, this is a very interesting commandment.

We are not supposed to lie…but just about everybody does. I know I do…and that’s no lie.

Here’s the thing: When it comes to lying, there tends to be two main splits on styles. Most of us agree that we really shouldn’t be lying about big things. However, for the smaller things (the things we consider small), we end up with two ways of lying.

Number on is the “white lie”. I don’t know why the color, but I don’t care. A white lie is also known as an innocent lie.

The other one, and this one is tricky to deal with, is the half truth. This is the one where we tell some of the truth, but the whole truth. We hide some information from the person to avoid something. That’s why we gotta ask people to say “nothing but the whole truth”.

An obvious reason not to lie is because we should value being trustworthy. If we can’t be trusted on our word, we don’t have much else going for us.

Look, it’s our own fault that these kinds of lies exists. “Does this make me look fat?” Let’s break down how nobody wins in the end via the truth…if the truth is “yes”.

See, if this person (usually it’s a female asking this question so I’ll say “she”) looks fat in that…whatever, she would rather not know this because she’s probably self-conscious of her figure. You can give the white lie of “nope”. You can half truth it too with “eh, the other dress is better” and just avoid the whole thing.

But no, we live in a world that dreads hearing the truth because the truth can be hard to handle. On the flipside, we have people who are brutally honest. Two extremes.

The featured image for this article is also part of the problem.

Yet, we are suppose to speak the truth…in love. We must stop with the white lies and we must stop being brutal. It might sound like BS but here is a truth in love statement for if she looks fat: “Yes, but you’re still beautiful”. I know…

Sadly, it’s a BS statement because of the society we live in.

In order to easily avoid lies, we need to stop being sensitive to truths that we don’t want to hear and believe that people will really embrace your truthfulness.

Of course, I need to be careful here because truth and honesty are actually two different things. But that’s for another post. For now, let’s concentrate on telling the truth and being honest, in love.

8. Do Not Steal

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Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you. We know this already. God doesn’t want us doing that either. You steal in the USA, and you’re in trouble. Looks like this nation and GodĀ agree on something.

Of course, we should look at why we shouldn’t steal in the first place.

Selfishness comes to mind. When we take from others, we’re only thinking of ourselves over how it could harm the victim.

No, I’m sorry, Robin Hood was wrong.

Stealing can lead to these things:

  • Lack of trust, honesty…integrity. How can we look at you, the thief, in loving eyes? We don’t like being around people we can’t trust. Even if you don’t steal from us…it still affects us mentally.
  • Lack of security. We, the victim, feel vulnerable. We feel exposed. This is especially true for people who are victims of home burglaries. We theoretically are safest at home. When that is compromised, we simply don’t feel safe.

There are other ways to steal. There are other victims. You can actually steal from God. Oh yes. You can rob Him of a few things:

  • Credit. When God brings us through, or gives us victory…a promotion as an example…if we don’t explain God’s role, we indeed rob Him.
  • We have spiritual gifts. Key word is gifts. We are supposed to share these things; not horde. If we do, we are stealing from God. We have basically held His gift hostage.
  • Salvation. This one is probably the worst thing you can do: steal people. What? If we send people away from God, then we end up stealing people from God and handing them over to the enemy. Wow.

Yes, stealing is something we simply should not do. Everybody loses in this situation. Stolen before? Got a criminal record? Employers have resources they value very much. Good luck getting a job, especially in finance or retail. Shucks, anywhere.

Don’t steal.

……………………….except in basketball……………..