Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spiritual Gifts & Being The Body


Last night my small group finished the book Soul Revolution. I can't wait to share my experience over the last 60 days of spending time with the Lord every 60 minutes..post to come! So even though we are finished with the book, our group is currently praying for guidance in what to do next. This was my first time to lead a small group (it was all women and we are around the same age) and in the car on the way to group, I was praying for an idea to come to me. I was trying to think of a way we could praise and pray for each other last night, as a way to conclude such a wonderful 2 months of fellowship. 

I hadn't read ahead in my leaders guide but turns out that during our study, we were going to bless each other. We took turns in answering the following 3 prompts about each of our members. 



We’re going to tell you about a quality or talent you have that we admire or appreciate.

We’re going to tell you something about you or our relationship with you that we’re thankful for.

We’re going to tell you about the gifts we see in you that bring blessing to others.



God had answered my prayers! And almost immediately! It was such a refreshing and amazing exercise. Not only was it uplifting and encouraging to hear words of praise about myself but to give those words was even better. It's kind of like Christmas, doesn't it feel way better to give a gift than receive one? The exercise was far from awkward and full of wonderful emotion. I found out that others see me as a leader with an infectious personality. One of my group members told me that she believes God sent me here as a prophet to spread His word...how cool is that!!! And I got to tell my small group members how I admire their patience, perseverance, self control, gentleness, and compassion.

We prayed that the Lord can help us cohesively be the Body of Christ in our church and in our community, using this gifts and talents that He has bestowed on us. How can we serve others and serve God with our talents- leadership, patience, compassion, giving. This verse says it perfectly...

"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage; then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."    -Romans 12:4-8


Each of us was given a gift. A talent that must be combined with other followers to live out God's will, with Jesus being the head. What good is a body-less head? Or a head-less body? 1 Corinthians talks about the different kind of gifts each of us had, but that they are all distributed by the same Spirit. So no matter your differences, we are all God's children. 


We took a minute to talk about our reactions to this experience. What was powerful about it? What was risky about it? How did we serve each other through it? And how we can impact others through this experience. And then it hit me...

Am I telling those I do regular life with how they bless me? Or what talents I admire and appreciate of theirs? Am I encouraging others to use their spiritual gifts?

My love language is words of affirmation. I've even had a few blogger friends point out that they knew that was my strong language. But am I doing enough of it? Is it meaningful and powerful enough? It is more than a compliment about one's vacation pictures or new haircut. And from today on, I am going to work on that. I am so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends and I want them to know what a blessing they are to me and the world. 

So today I challenge you to think about your spiritual gifts? What talent did God give you that He wants you to use to glorify Him and set an example to others. I also encourage you to tell your loved ones how they are impacting your lives. Praise them for their gifts and encourage them to use them to be the Body.

In Him,

Ruthie

18 comments:

Elizabeth said...

That is beautiful. I give Bible study to young girls from the age 12 years to 15. Its important and true that they know they have a great gift to also show others. They have many hard times with temptation. Standing firm in Christ is what keeps us going.. and what you wrote about gifs is so important to share with them. They need to know WE need to know... that we are light! They have been given a great gift to also share. I have shared this with them before but thank you for your words. Reminding us that again and to bless others and keep encouraging them just like you encouraged me! Blessing to you girly and your beautiful family. Thank you for blessing us.

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

Great post Ruthie! I attended a seminar at Church back in November about discovering your SHAPE-which stood for spiritual gifts, heart (or passions), abilities, personality, and experiences. It was such a neat way to learn more about the Lord has really created each of us individually with different ways that we can serve him...such a neat thought! Have a great day! xoxo

GingerPeachT said...

Oh I just love talking about spiritual gifts. In bible college we had a course on this and we did several of the tests to find ours. One thing I will always remember from my dad, is how he would love for every single church to make the people to the test. Not only would this help pastors to better understand his congregation but to be able to bond even stronger in the body of Christ. It would be an awesome thing to see, each of us reaching out to strengthen one another. Because if we aren't strong in our walk, how are we gonna show non believers?
Exciting stuff :-)

Lauren said...

I love exercises like this!! In my Lifegroup (basically small group - we are in a young married group that meets once a week) we occasionally have nights like this that we devote to encouragement. One of my FAVORITE nights was when we had a sheet of paper for everyone's child (we all have at least one child) and we went around the room writing things on the papers that we felt God was speaking over a particular child's life or the positive traits, etc we saw in these kids. It was meant for all of us parents to use to speak over our children, especially when we are frustrated or need guidance in parenting. To focus on our children's identity in Christ and their personal strengths.

While a lot of the things that I felt God had spoken to me about my daughter were confirmed in writing by others, I was most blown away by the words given to us about our unborn daughter. I mean, I don't know where your feelings are on the Spirit and prophecy, but I totally felt that there were several prophetic words over this unborn baby's life that I had been feeling and to see those confirmed by others I had never shared them with - WOW! It just reminded me that while I don't know this baby yet, God knows her perfectly. Every little detail, every hair on her head, he knows. I can't wait to see the woman of God she will be - that both my daughters will be.

I love how people have all sorts of spiritual gifts that can be helpful to one another. I've been told my strengths are encouragement and loving people well... I'm also pretty good at discernment. There are definitely others I could "work on" more haha.

Katie {katie lately} said...

ahh Ruthie I just love you!! This sounds incredible. I want to check out that book.. Cant wait to see your post on it! :) I started a small group literally the week we found out we were moving. I am thankful that the girls still meet and I know God used me to start that group for them, but sometimes I am sad I'm not there too! I am praying for the right sort of fellowship to come my way :)

Katie {katie lately} said...

ahh Ruthie I just love you!! This sounds incredible. I want to check out that book.. Cant wait to see your post on it! :) I started a small group literally the week we found out we were moving. I am thankful that the girls still meet and I know God used me to start that group for them, but sometimes I am sad I'm not there too! I am praying for the right sort of fellowship to come my way :)

Amira said...

Your infectious personality even shines through on your blog :-)

Amanda said...

Powerful stuff right here, Ruthie! It's amazing how well you reflect on your experience and how you affirm how blessed you truly are. I I find that simply saying thank you as often as I can, reaffirms what I was put here to do, for now at least. Happy Wednesday!

Krista said...

This is so beautiful and I'm glad you shared it! I wish I had a group like that to be a part of, what a blessing you are to each other! Wonderful of you to challenge and encourage those of us out here in the blog world too! Blessings to you my dear!

Daisy said...

What a great post! We did this a while back with out flg and I really enjoyed it too. My gift I think is teaching and counseling.

Ms. Chianne said...

I love this! In my "Young At Heart" group, we too are discovering our spiritual gifts and it is really eye opening. The things I thought would be my gifts weren't even close to what my gifts really are. It's been a wonderful experience and I'm so blessed to hear that you are discovering your gifts as well. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the day!

Breanna Hohenstein said...

Such a beautiful post! Love it! I wish that I had a small group here in corpus, it's hard not knowing hardly anyone! Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Susan said...

So beautiful Ruthie! That must have been a wonderful thing to be in that study together and it sounds like you did a great job leading it! :)

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

You are a spiritural gift, Ruthie.

Heather said...

i love this, ruthie!! i knew you were words of affirmation! that's mine, too, and meredith's! :) love you and LOVE THIS POST!! XOXO

Simply Splendid LOVE said...

This is awesome! I just wanted to know you are an encouragement. You are very well spoken and very relatable! When I think of spiritual gifts, I usually immediately think of talents; but it's far more than that. Spiritual gifts are qualities too. I think I too easily forget that the Lord has blessed us (ME) with specific gifts and are to be used for His glory. A little reminder is always good to reevaluate. Thanks girl!

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