How am I gifted?
Here’s the tragedy in the church. I’ve known people who’ve gone to church 5, 10, 15, even 20 yr.s or more and I ask them, “What are your spiritual gifts?” and it’s the most foreign question they’ve ever heard. I understand that if you’re from most Christian backgrounds you didn’t talk about the Holy Spirit in church. In most traditions the Holy Spirit is like crazy Uncle Eddy that you hope doesn’t show up at the party because if he does things are going to get nuts so you don’t talk about him at all because you’re scared of that theology. And if you’re from a Pentecostal church, you probably talked about Him too much. So there’s not a balance, not an accurate theology. So for a long time most of the Church has ignored spiritual gifts and so there are people who’ve been in the church 25 years and have no idea how they’re gifted.
Here’s the thing. The Creator of the universe has given you a gift, wouldn’t you at least like to know what it is?
Judges 3:15 (which we began looking at in part one), “But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.” Why does the Bible mention that he was left-handed? Anytime the Bible mentions a detail like that don’t just skip over it. “Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.” Now, if you’re a Hebrew reading this you would laugh out loud. Ehud, the left-handed dude, was from the tribe of Benjamin. How many of you are left-handed? How many of you lefties, when you started school, your teacher tried to make you a righty? Ehud was left-handed and he was from the tribe of Benjamin. Now here’s why that is funny. The tribe of Benjamin in Hebrew literally means, “Son of the right hand.” Ehud was left-handed, from the tribe of the sons of the right hand. Translation? Ehud didn’t fit in.
He did not fit in! I love the fact that God used somebody that didn’t fit in to make a difference. One of the problems that we have in the church is that as soon as someone comes to Christ, we try to make them uniform with everybody else. God actually desires us to be unique. God created you that way because he wanted you to be you and for you to embrace who He created you to be. God doesn’t want you to be normal. Normal stinks! Stop trying to be normal. Do you think I am? God didn’t call me to fit in. He called me to make a difference in the world by following Jesus and that’s the call he has on your life.
“The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing.” See, Ehud was left-handed and Ehud is going to use his gifting by God to make a difference. See, in that day, most people were right handed and they kept their sword on their left thigh. So when you went before a king or a dignitary when they checked you for weapons, because you couldn’t take weapons in, they might only check your left side because you’re right handed and Ehud because he was left-handed would take his sword from his right thigh so the Bible specifically says that he put his sword on his right thigh because he knew that the people checking him for weapons before he went before the king who had oppressed them, he knew they would not check his right thigh, so he embraced how God had gifted him and was willing to use his unique gift for the glory of God.
God has gifted you! If you are a Christian you have at least one spiritual gift. Check out some of these passages that list how we’re gifted spiritually in the Body. 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4. Those passages tell us how we are equipped spiritually.
Three questions to answer if you want to know what your spiritual gifts are.
- What do I enjoy? Newsflash: I enjoy what I do. God wants you to love what you do. Nehemiah 8:10, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” I’m telling you, if you’re gifted to do it, by God you will enjoy doing it.
Now I’m not saying that it’s always going to be fun. Paul enjoyed preaching. It got him killed. I’m not this guy who says that if you do whatever God wants you to do you’ll never have a bad day. But there will be genuine joy because you’re doing what God called you to do. What do you enjoy?
- What do I do well? Some people say, “Nothing.” That makes me sick. Do you know what an insult it is to look at a holy, awesome God who designed you with a plan and a purpose. You are unique. He formed you. And then look in the face of a holy God and go, “I can’t do nothing good.” What do you think God thinks of that?! You do something well. You really do. You do something that is useful for other people.
Some of you are organized. You’ve got color-coded calendars. There’s a system for everything. You’ve got it all figured out. See, the body of Christ needs you.
Some of you are geeky, techy, nerdy people. The world needs you. I could go on and on w/ examples.
So what do you enjoy? And what do you do well? & you have to answer both of those questions because some of you enjoy things that you don’t do well. Have you ever been to church and heard someone who enjoyed singing but they clearly didn’t do it well? And those w/ the gift of mercy would say, “But her heart is so good” But her voice is so bad.
- How does this serve others for God’s glory? You will enjoy it. You will do it well. But it’s been given to you for you to serve others. Your spiritual gift has nothing to do with how great you are and everything to do with how great God is. And it’s been given to us to serve 1 another.
So what’s your spiritual gift(s)?