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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Learning To Be Careful About “Gift-Envy” or "Gift-Projection"

In review of 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, “Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God's Spirit.”

Bottom Line:
A person who isn’t spiritual doesn’t accept the teachings of God’s Spirit. He thinks they’re nonsense. He can’t understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them.

What this means to me:
Because I have received God’s Spirit, I can understand spiritual blessings. Those who aren’t spiritual really don’t understand, it seems nonsense to them. Furthermore, I am not able to earn or even deserve the spiritual gifts I have, this is why they are called gifts!  They are an expression of God’s grace to me, “Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us” (Ephesians 4:7 CEV). Also, I did not get to choose the gifts I have. Paul explains that God determines that “it is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” (1 Corinthians 12:11 NLT). Because God loves variety, and he wants me to be special, there’s no one single gift given to everyone, and no individual receives all the gifts. If I had them all, I would not need anyone else, and that would defeat one of God’s purposes; to teach me to depend on others. My spiritual gifts were not given for my benefit but for the benefit of others, just as other people were given gifts for my benefit. The Bible says, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT). When I use my gifts for others, they will benefit. If others don’t use their gifts, I’ll get cheated, but if I don’t use my gifts, they get cheated. This is why God wants me to discover and develop my spiritual gifts. Whenever I forget these basic truths about gifts, it will cause trouble in the church. Two of the most common problems are "gift-envy" and "gift-projection." The first occurs If I compare my gifts to others, feel dissatisfied with what God gave me, and become resentful or jealous of how God uses others. The second problem happens when you expect everyone else to have my same gifts, do what I’m called to do, and feel as passionate about it as I do. The Bible says, “There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:5 NLT). Sometimes spiritual gifts are overemphasized to the neglect of the other factors that God uses to shape me for service. So I need to keep in mind, my gifts reveal one part of God’s will for my ministry, but not all of it. I’m reminded by today’s study that I need to learn to depend on others and the gifts they bring. As I heal and get back to a normal life (back to work, etc), I’ll need to remember that I have gifts of mentoring, coaching, understanding and teaching that I need to be using. I also need to remember that my gifts and passion are mine and not everyone will always have the same zeal as me. I must not get disappointed when I see this.