Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
One of the most perverted teachings in all Christianity is with regard to Spiritual Gifts. Some brag about them (like they are theirs), some deny them, and some are terrified by the very concept of them. We argue over what they are, what they are for and who is eligible. There are seven basic gifts in Romans 12:3 and following, and more often than not, we as individuals view them as a Spiritual Smorgasbord from which we make our selections. Even worse, we as Churches try to place people in slots as needed (square pegs in round holes).
The following is something I’ve had around for a while, but can’t tell you who wrote it. It applies.
THERE ONCE WAS AN ANIMAL SCHOOL THAT DECIDED TO UPDATE ITS CURRICULUM. THE ANIMALS WOULD BE GRADED ON FLYING, CLIMBING, RUNNING AND SWIMMING. THE DUCK WAS AN OK FLYER AND A GOOD SWIMMER, BUT A BAD RUNNER. HE DROPPED SWIMMING TO FOCUS MORE ON RUNNING. SOON, HIS SWIMMING WAS ONLY AVERAGE SO NO ONE, EVEN THE FACULTY WAS THREATENED BY THE DUCK’S SWIMMING ABILITY. THE EAGLE WAS A PROBLEM STUDENT. IN CLIMBING, HE BEAT EVERYONE TO THE TOP OF THE TREE, BUT , HE CHEATED AND HAD TO BE DISCIPLINED. ULTIMATELY HE WAS EXPELLED FOR NON PARTICIPATION IN SWIMMING CLASS. MR. RABBIT EXCELLED IN RUNNING BUT WAS INADEQUATE IN OTHER AREAS AND DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL DUE TO STRESS AFTER BEING FORCED TO TAKE MAKE-UP CLASSES IN SWIMMING.
MR. TURTLE FAILED IN EVERYTHING SINCE THE GRADING WAS ON A CURVE, BUT FOLLOWING ANALYSIS, IT WAS DECIDED HE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIS SHELL (A HINDRANCE); UNTIL MR HORSE STEPPED ON HIM.
IN ALL, THE FACULTY WAS PLEASED WITH THE SCHOOL, AND THE PROGRESS MADE. THERE WERE NO REAL SUCCESS STORIES, BUT ALL WERE FOCUSING ON THEIR WEAKNESSES, AND NO ONE WAS THREATENED.
I fear this describes most Churches in America today. In your Church, do you have opportunity to do what you do best? Do you do it? Do you receive recognition for your contribution? Are you valued? Are you encouraged regularly in your Spiritual Growth - and equally important, are you held accountable? It isn’t that complicated if you are “in Christ”. The purpose? = “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” 1st Cor. 12:7 The Source? “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13. Next week we answer the question: “Why Me?”. God Bless.