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.
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?