Cynthia J. Johnson - Life Coach, Living Life
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." --Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
There is more to us than meets the natural eye. The whole of our being is tripartite: spirit, soul, and body. Learning that and learning that I have spiritual gifts has been an awesome journey. The gifts are tools that help us know who we are, what we were created to do and be, and—most importantly—the gifts can help us find and define our purpose.
Developing and effectively using them has enabled me to navigate my life and—most importantly—be effective in the lives of others. Gifts are not given for selfish purposes but are to be used in service to others. The Bible—which, incidentally, is the most-read book in the world (I love trivia)—lists these gifts in several places: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. While some of them appear to be duplicated in these passages, the operation and purposes are not the same. The gifts in Romans 12, known as motivational gifts, are gifts that each human is born with, yet some people live a lifetime never discovering them.
My passion is to assist others in discovering their spiritual gifts. I’ve seen people learn their gift(s) and open new realms of possibilities as they discover their true identity and vocation. Several years ago, as a member of a community of believers in Christ, the Pastor felt strongly that we all needed to learn about and operate in those giftings both in and outside of the walls of the church (the marketplace). After all, unless you are the pastor of a church, you spend most of your life at work, in the grocery store, at Walmart, and at recreational events, in other words, in the marketplace. The joy and “aha’s” that light up the faces of people--including children and youth--when their gifts are identified is rewarding. I believe many people have a myopic view of the Bible as only being intended for “church people,” but I think differently. The gifts in Romans 12 are a message to all of humanity. Discovering and maturing in these gifts enables one to connect with themself and others on a deeper level.
Spiritual gifts are tools given to equip us in navigating this life and building each other up to succeed on this journey. Spiritual gifts are different from talents. A talent may be the ability to play the piano, singing, sewing, drawing, etc., but when you operate in a spiritual gift, there is an innate ability that comes forth, enabling you to be the shoulders of an organization (Leadership), instruct and communicate for understanding and growth (Teach), speak comfort and hope (Mercy), declare truth and right or wrong, say what you think (Perception/Prophecy), give out of your own need when someone needs it more (Giving), be the hands of an organization (Service), and care for the needs of others and encourage them (Counselor).
A few weeks ago, I participated on a panel with several others who know their spiritual gifts and have been operating in them for several years. The workshop was for those who were in the process of discovering their gifts. It was inspiring to hear them tell how they can now connect the dots from their spiritual gifts to their thoughts and actions for which they previously had no reference.
Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? How are you using them in service to others? Does your life vocation reflect those core gifts?
By now you have heard this quite a many times, but I want to say it again: HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Welcome to 2023! Be committed to letting this be the year you discover or rediscover and activate what you already know at a deeper level of your soul by developing your spiritual gifts. Remember: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience."
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming Spiritual Gift Workshops.