Sunday, February 08, 2009

Spiritual Gifts

EDIT: Want to take the same test I am? Go here. Let me know a) your spiritual gifts and b) how you think the test could be adapted for Unitarian Universalism.

In my Pastoral Care class, we were given a "Spiritual Gifts" assessment to fill out. You had to rate yourself from Strongly Agree to Completely Disagree on statements such as:

  • People seem to be willing to follow my leadership without much resistance.
  • It is a joy for me to proclaim God's plan of salvation to unchurched people.
  • I enjoy doing routine tasks for the glory of God.
  • People seem to view me as one who believes everything is possible.
These then correlated to a list of "spiritual gifts." Things like being:
  • An apostle
  • A prophet
  • An evangelist
  • A pastor
  • A teacher
  • Music
  • Knowledge
  • Serving
  • Leadership
  • Administration
  • Faith
And more.

The results didn't surprise me, both in terms of my highs and lows. Especially my lows. This assessment was weighted towards what you like to do, not what you feel you should do. (And yes, I did employ a liberal amount of interpretation to the statements so that they better fit my beliefs. For example, I DO find it a joy for me to proclaim God's plan of salvation to unchurched people. But I would bet that my vision of God's plan of salvation differs a wee bit from that of my classmates who tend to be conservative Christian.)

Some of my weaknesses, I have no problem with. Like Faith. I don't think everything is possible. And I'm okay with that. Or Healing, in terms of this test. Craftsmanship. I enjoy it, sometimes, but it's not my gift. (Baking cupcakes was not on the list of gifts.)

But, were there any gifts that I value highly, yet score lowly? Um, er ... yeah.

So I began thinking about what I value. What I think is important. And comparing that to my "spiritual gifts."

And it confirmed what I've been feeling, which is that I need to work on some areas. And by work, I mean work. Engage the body and let the brain take care of itself.

According to this assessment, my spiritual gifts lends themselves to being a pastor, a teacher ... and an apostle.

I've told you that one of my favorite movies is Robert Duvall's "The Apostle," right?

For me, at this time, three big areas of value to me are prophetic voice, pastoral care, and serving others. Right now, prophetic voice is ready for the Big and Tall shop. Pastoral care is coming along nicely, though I need to be more careful about telling the Prophetic Voice to hush while I'm talking to someone about their problems. Two ears, one mouth, use proportionally.

Serving others ... as in, roll up your sleeves, pick up a hammer/a bar of soap/sort groceries ... well, it's not in proportion to what I value in my heart. I think as a UU, prophetic voice is very important. But I think serving is more important. I'd like to use my prophetic voice to proclaim to the rooftops how important, how spiritually fulfilling it is to serve others. Matthew 25:35, Baby. But I need to order my life in such a way that I am preaching what I practice.

What are your spiritual gifts?


ogre said...

Got a copy of that assessment to share?

I mean... I could guess, but something to bounce off of, to reflect on/in... helps.

Lizard Eater said...

This one is similar to the one I filled out:

ogre said...

Grouped (same number, thus no order within each group)

A -- Prophet, Missionary, Craftsman
(one point drop to B)
B -- Pastor, Apostle, Exhortation, Leadership, Administration, Giving, Discernment, Hospitality
(one point drop to C)
C -- Teaching
(one point drop to D)
D -- Wisdom, Knowledge, Serving, Helps, Faith
(one point drop to E)
E -- Evangelist, Mercy
(one point drop to F)
F -- Music (all about instrument, not voice...)
(freefall... to E)
E -- Intercession, Healing

I'll have to think about how this might be adapted. Certainly something like this might be a useful tool. I'll admit that some of the words just throw me... which probably speaks to the first order of adaptation; words matter, and many of those aren't generic or neutral enough for our use. Words and definitions....