Have you ever taken a spiritual gift inventory?

Very often they can be a helpful tool in pinpointing exactly how God has specifically designed you for His purposes.

Moses being inspired about a new blog post?

On many spiritual gift inventories, I’ve scored high on the gift of “prophecy.” That doesn’t specifically mean that I have the urge to go around preaching damnation to every hooker on the corners of all busy inner-city streets! But it certainly means that I’m drawn to “the truth” of God’s Word and want to share that “truth” in many ways with others—hence, my blogging takes on a whole new meaning.

But along with every “gift” or “talent” that God gives us, there’s this other-side of that same coin, that can be negative, even hurtful.

And the negative, hurtful side of being a truth-teller is an inability to have compassion or extend grace.

I’m not saying that I can’t have both in my life at the same time, but it is often a difficult balance for me to strike. I have to really lean into God, asking for His grace, when I am feeling a conviction rising up within me (especially when that conviction involves perceptions about other’s wrong-doing!).

God has been showing me this area of weakness for a lot of years. And although I think I’ve softened somewhat over the years, I still tend to err to the side of cold, hard truth. There isn’t anything that can get my blood boiling more than when a lie is being believed/propagated or when an injustice is being committed.

But when it comes to having compassion for those who make those same mistakes, I often fall short.

One way that I’m trying to work on this weakness in my life is by biting my tongue. I’ve realized that I’m not the only person in the world who can recognize God’s truth. I’ve realized that God often uses my love and compassion to influence others toward change more than my harsh words of challenge. I’ve realized that God is a lot more active than I give Him credit for. It’s not just up to me to set the wayward straight. The Holy Spirit’s got that gig down already.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I should never confront someone.

But I think I tend to feel that God cannot reveal a sin to someone without my help!

How arrogant is that?!

Which leads me to my next way of dealing with this weakness—I release the person/situation through prayer to God. I pray that God would convict, provide, direct, whatever for that person and trust God to do just that.

If I’m still in doubt about whether I should say something, I pray that God would strongly urge me to take a specific step perhaps of confronting. But then I always need to “speak the truth in love.” It’s a delicate balance that I hope to have figured out by the time I’m 90 or so!

So, what spiritual gift has God given you that sometimes trips you up?

And, how do you positively deal with that hurtful side when it emerges?

Today’s post is linked to Faith Barista and answers the question – What has God been saying to me in my time alone with Him?



Comments on: "The Ugly Side of My Spiritual Gift" (9)

  1. Hi Beth!

    I can relate so well to this post. Recently I volunteered to be a mentor at my church and learned through a few spiritual gifts tests that my spiritual gift is also prophecy with compassion being the lowest! This answered a lot of questions for me! Since I was a child I have struggled with having a judgemental/critical spirit. My black and white thinking doesn’t allow me to see any gray, and I cannot understand why people don’t think like I do! Recently God has really been showing me “the gray”, and I have begun to learn how to truly love people. I have been able to practice “mourning sin” (Matthew 5:4) instead of judging people and God has helped me remember that He is in control.

    Thank you so much for posting this!

  2. Oh sweet heart, beautifully written. I have the opposite problem. Loving, affectionate, warm, I struggle with confrontation! Don’t want to anger the prophet types in my life. However, they soak up the loving affection and I pray long and hard before confronting. This year is my year of Speaking Up (which isn’t progressing as well as I’d hoped but God knows, right?) so I’m working on knowing for sure the truth and fearing God alone so that I can speak up aright.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Dear Beth, You have always spoken the truth in love to me, and I have always appreciated your courage and honesty when it comes to saying what needs to be said. Granted, I haven’t always “liked” what you’ve had to say, especially as it pertained to me personally, but I realize that it was what I needed to hear and that as a true friend, you have allowed God to speak through you. It is a gift and a ministry, and I love you for it.

  4. Beth, Beautifully written honest post. Each gift and personality trait comes with strengths and weaknesses. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just function in our strengths all of the time? Blessings, Deb

  5. Prophesying and blogging are a great fit, Beth. I’ve never thought of it in quite those terms but such an excellent gift. I’m more prone to NOT confront, unless it’s someone very, very close to me. I need to be more balanced in my approaches.

  6. “But I think I tend to feel that God cannot reveal a sin to someone without my help!” We fixers express this in our actions. Your post really spoke to me and you have shed light on a recent situation. Thanks!

  7. Hi Beth, I hear such humility in what you’ve shared here. A wonderful encouraging example for us to follow.

    And yes, I never quite thought of blogging and prophesying as twins too (from Lisa’s comment).

    I have learned so much by challening myself to keep quiet. Now, I’m having to unlearn that, if you can believe it! 🙂 God always has moving into grace.

  8. Great Post, We do need gentle truth tellers with tact. i heard a Pastor once say that some people have the gift of suspicion. If God says to say it, then by all means obey the Holy Spirit. If it is suspicion, it may be best to lay it up on the shelf until another time. Tomorrow might be a better day. I always had to sleep on it and ask what to say next. But that is just me.

  9. Oh Beth, this is so encouraging! I’m a school counseling student in a public university…& I’ve been struggling with this (& with explicitly showing my empathy), A LOT. This part of my personality has certainly gotten in the way. I’m praying to grow in empathy & compassion with my students & everyone I interact with on a daily basis. After all, I didn’t deserve the grace The Lord showed me…

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