Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...

Oh Lord, Please don't let me be misunderstood!

Louie, over at Marshian Chronicles posted a link to "Assess Myself" And I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm not done yet, but I assessed my spiritual gifts. As part of the results I was told I was :

The Perceiver: 100%
The Server: 90%
The Teacher: 55%
The Encourager: 60%
The Giver: 70%
The Ruler: 45%
Showing Mercy: 84%

I almost had to laugh as I read part of the paragraphs on my most dominant gift "The Perceiver". As one of the paragraphs seemed to fit my life entirely. It read: The primary function of this gift is to reveal information the perceiver has discerned in a way that will help others. This information is not always positive and well received. As a result, perceivers sometimes appear direct, blunt, or inconsiderate of the feelings of others particularly when sharing this information with people possessing different motivational gifts. This is a classic case of the gift being misunderstood because their real intention is to help people.

I haven't really considered the things I am constantly telling people as any special word from God. But trust me when I say I'm always qualifying statements to friends with "please don't be offended!". I'm pleased with the results, as they mostly give a good idea of who I am. Certainly not a ruler or a teacher, and I'm trying hard to add more encouragement to my many many moments where I've decided I need to tell someone something. I have the strongest conviction that if people could just listen they might find some relief. And I speak passionately, because I WANT to see them find that relief.

For me, this trait has put me at odds with one of my very best friends here on earth. He's struggling, and I have so much to say, that I know will only harm the relationship further. I urge you to remember this, before you learn lessons the hard way (as I have). Gifts ARE blessings, but they are chock full of responsibility. And the burden of using it, isn't nearly as light as you would expect. Use it wisely, whatever your gift. But, do better than me, use it freely even if it means losing your friends, or burning bridges. Whoever you're using your gift on deserves anything God puts on this earth for them to help find their way on the path. A path that leads to greater peace, and greater joy. I'm letting my friend down by selfishly choosing to keep the relationship. Partly because I don't believe he'd listen to me anyway, and partly because if he doesn't, I've lost something that's of vital importance to me. And I'm not ready to lose that yet.
Knowing that there's something you're holding back for yourself, is like sitting on a pin. You know it's there, and you sit tentatively because everything isn't 'alright'.

I guess, I just want you to know that, when someone points out sins, or errors, or a better way of doing something maybe you should just take it as it is. It's not a judgement, it's not a condemnation, it's not a sudden revelation that you are bound for the pits of hell. It's a simple helping hand, possibly put there by God. And whoever is telling you, whatever it is they feel you need to fix. Trust me on this one solid fact. They've got ten times as many things they have already picked out in their own hearts and are tackling or avoiding.


Nate said...

This is interesting that you posted on this, because it's the primary gift that has been revealed to me in my growing to maturity in faith. And it is exactly as you say--people don't receive it well all the time. People also walk away from the person as well as the correction that was given to them.

I would caution you that you're not necessarily being asked by God to be verbal about everything he lets you perceive though. In fact, cases where a relationship is at stake, or a bridge will be burned are the best candidates for when NOT to speak out. Your task may be simply to pray, or to communicate in a more nonverbal way, one that vindicates the person from the shame and guilt of being exposed while still showing them the "way out." And you are absolutely right about encouraging people along the way. I am less than a novice at this, but I have noticed that my gift is used to bring people back from arrogance to humility- which sets them on the altar before God. This is why people reject it, because they don't like being made humble. The same reason Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves instead of being honest with God...

J. W. Poteet II said...

Am I being paranoid or are half your posts lately about me? I don't have much to add. I'm pretty sure I know the stuff you'd like to say to me, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be real thrilled to hear it. One thing about being wrong is you really don't appreciate others pointing it out. Either you know you're wrong and don't want to hear someone point it out, or you are convinced you are right and people just think you don't want to hear someone tell you you're wrong. That's why prophets are so unpopular.