Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh, thank you, but...

A couple of years ago I worked through the Network spiritual gifts course. The curriculum was interesting as it provided several different exercises and processes to help identify your own spiritual gifts. I enjoyed working through it with a class because it was fun to see other people begin to discover their own gifts and to learn more about them.

One of the exercises was to have three people close to you fill out a survey about you. There was also a 130-question inventory exercise to personally complete. Everything my three surveyors said about me was in agreement with the results of my own personal inventory. For me, the results of all the exercises were pretty consistent and clear.

My top spiritual gift turned out to be 'Word of Knowledge'. Words the Network study used to explain that are: inquisitive, responsive, observant, insightful, reflective, truthful, and spiritually sensitive.

Earlier this month I worked through Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder. It doesn’t have anything to do with spiritual gifts. Its focus is more on natural talents. The concept of this book is that we spend too much time trying to correct and make up for our shortcomings and not enough time focusing on and developing the few things we are really good at. The personal benefit this book offers is an accompanying online assessment which results in identifying your top 5 strengths out of a well researched list of 34.

My top strength on the Strengths Finder assessment: 'Intellection'. Words used to describe that are: thinking, mental activity, time alone, introspection, writing.

That’s pretty much in agreement with my spiritual gift. There’s no escaping it.

Here’s the thing….this may sound crazy, but knowing what my spiritual gifts and natural talents are doesn’t make this whole business of living out my faith any easier. Once those things were confirmed, I immediately saw the responsibility that went with them and felt grossly inadequate to fulfill it.

It’s intimidating.

Is that really ME? It’s hard to believe sometimes.

It’s like that birthday gift that you’re not sure you like when you first open it. It’s too big. Or too much. Or too expensive. Or too “out there.” It takes a while, for me anyway, before it can become that comfortable old threadbare sweater I'll always reach for first.

I just have to keep telling myself that the one who gave it to me knows me better than anybody else. He knows me better than I know myself.

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:24


Lynne said...

Hello! You have sooo many talents and gifts! I know that God is pleased with this new way you have "found" to use what He is teaching you day by day!
Email me! John wiped our computer clean (on purpose) and reinstalled everything, but I fear that my email addresses are all gone!
I love you! Lynne

Steve said...

Sorry it has been a while since I have had the chance to read Lost and Found. I enjoyed catching up. As far as spiritual gifts, strengths, etc. I have come to the conclusion that if God calls he also equipps with just what we need to answer the call.