“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Every Christian is given spiritual gifts to aid them in their journey of faith. Each gift is different, but they all serve an essential purpose in the growth and fellowship of God’s kingdom. The Church has always served as a place where Christians could discover and hone their spiritual gifts, but in recent years, the body of Christ has begun to overlook certain virtues that are crucial to the development of new believers. Like any human muscle, if these talents are not exercised regularly they will eventually start to atrophy. So, for the sake of our spiritual health, it’s time we reintroduced these virtues into our daily lifestyles.
Here are five spiritual gifts the church should stop neglecting:
The gift of Hospitality is the ability to welcome others with openness and generosity. Hospitality can be a powerful tool for ministry, but it’s a very difficult gift to cultivate. This is because hospitality is largely individualistic. It’s practiced when a believer invites a stranger into their home for a meal, or makes room for them at a table of friends.
Many believers have tried to pass this responsibility off to the church as a whole, using morning greetings or classes as a way to fill the void. However, in order for hospitality to be spiritually effective, it requires believers to make a personal and sincere relationship with others.
The gift of Wisdom is the ability to understand the gospel and best apply its knowledge to a given situation. Within today’s congregations there are many who know the bible by heart but aren’t are providing a compelling witness. Like the Pharisees, they care more about the letter of the law than the spirit in which it was given. There’s an old saying, “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” If Christians hope to become wise, we must be slow to speak, quick to listen, and receptive to the deeper messages found within scripture.
The gift of Stewardship is the ability to supervise and maintain a project under your care. Stewardship often goes hand-in-hand with the spiritual gift of Leadership, and therein lies the danger. Together, these gifts have the potential to create something extraordinary, but they also leave a person susceptible to pride.
As seen in Matthew 25:14-30, a good steward knows their charge does not belong to them, it belongs to God. Whether it’s a Church congregation, Christian charity, or spiritual movement, Christians must emphasize the gift of stewardship and remember that we are second.
The gift of Healing is the ability to provide relief in times of injury and recovery. When Christians discuss the gift of healing, we’re naturally drawn to stories of miraculous revivals or heavenly interventions. These tales are no doubt inspiring, but they also create a false idea of what spiritual healing can look like. In reality, true healing is much simpler and more intimate.
Holding someone’s hand while they’re in the hospital, volunteering to watch a newborn baby so their parents can get some sleep, even sitting quietly beside a friend as they mourn the loss of a loved one. They may appear small but rest assured, these are the moments which matter.
The gift of Self-Awareness is the ability to recognize one’s own character, feelings, motivations, and desires. Self-Awareness is a tricky gift to master. For starters, it draws on a number of other spiritual gifts including mercy, discernment, knowledge, and faith. Secondly, it requires Christians to wrestle with something they’d prefer to avoid: doubt.
It’s never fun to consider that you may be wrong, that maybe you’ve made a mistake, but fostering self-awareness means asking yourself difficult questions and aknowledging honest answers. It can be painful, embarrassing, even frightening at times, but once accepted, self-awarness allows us to preceive God with new and better vision.
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