Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gifts

The following list, mostly, is self evident. People are born with certain natural gifts, talents, or shortcomings.

1. Athletic ability
2. Musical ability
3. Drawing ability
4. Physical characteristics – height, weight, beauty, racial, homely etc.
5. Perfectionism
6. Non perfectionism
7. Genius
8. Not so smart

None of these are virtues or sins. They just are. They are good because they were created by God. However, they are not spiritual gifts or fruit. They can be used to be virtuous or sinful. Here are very common sins among the naturally gifted. Pride and criticism are two. Assuming their gifts have a spiritual and moral quality, they can look at someone who sings off key or is not neat and think that the non neat one or the singer is in sin. The one who is critical is the one who is in sin. Criticalness is clearly sin. Singing flat and not being neat is not sin.

The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24) is given to every Christian. The gifts of the Spirit are given to Christians for the rest of the Christians. The natural gifts are also given to separate people.

Suppose everyone in the world had exactly the same gifts. Everyone could run 1600 meters in exactly the same time to a hundredth of a second. A dead heat with millions of runners. Everyone had the gifts of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Michelangelo, Einstein, Edison, Dickens, and Shakespeare. Or, if not in genius, then everyone could be exactly the same in dumbness.

We would not like it. God, in His goodness, made us different. Thank God! The perfectionist is not more good than his roommate who is not a perfectionist. In fact he is probably less Godly because he is hypercritical of someone to whom God has not given the gift that God has given him. The non-gifted person might have sins like envy or low self-esteem. He should thank God that God made him the way he is.

To say, “I was born a perfectionist. I cannot help being critical.” You were born again to not be critical. You were born again to be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:40).

The unbeliever has the same natural gifts as you have. The fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit take precedence over all natural gifts.

If a person is lazy he is in sin (I Thessalonians 5:14). If a person is timid or weak he is not in sin (I Thessalonians 5:14).

We are to be patient with everyone. That means we have the fruit of the Spirit for someone who does not come up to our standards.

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