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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: Gift or Burden?
By Joy Bach
11/27/07


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When I began dating my husband, John, I started attending his church. He really wanted me to get acquainted with Marnie, the lady who was church secretary and lady’s Bible study leader. I tried. Yet each time I came in contact with her, I was so very uncomfortable. Being around her was not something I wanted to do. When John asked “why” I had no answer. I just knew I had very strong feelings about it.

Our relationship grew serious and marriage was discussed. John assumed the pastor of his church, Peter, would perform the ceremony. I was very uncomfortable with that idea. When John asked “why” I had no answer. And so an Associate Pastor officiated at our wedding.

A few months later, an Elder announced from the pulpit that Peter was no longer the pastor. As happens in all groups of people, the reason he was gone soon filtered down. Peter had been having an affair with Marnie.

Now I understood my reluctance to be around them.

The church began auditioning for a new pastor. One Sunday, when one of the candidates began preaching, I got up and walked out of church. I DON’T DO THINGS LIKE THAT! But the “vibes” coming from him were so strong I could not stay in the building.

Again, John wanted to know “why” and I had no answer. I remember saying, “I sure hope they don’t hire him”.

They did.

I struggled to attend church. I could not hear the words coming from his mouth because I was so uncomfortable being in the same room with him. My attention and energy were focused on making it through to the end of the service. Everything within me wanted to walk out again.

In a matter of months, he was no longer pastor. It had been discovered that he beat his wife. Now I understood why I had such a reaction to being around him.

I never know when I will begin to feel something. I can go for weeks without it happening. And I don’t always find out the reason for my reaction. But I’ve learned to be very aware of the “vibes” I receive from people.

The gift of discernment is not an easy gift to accept. I didn’t ask for this gift. In fact, I fought against the idea that I did indeed have it. Sometimes, being in a crowd of people is totally overwhelming. There can be waves of what I call “vibes” bombarding me.

I have been told I am judgmental, weird and scary. Sometimes I am sure I come across as arrogant, although I try to be kind. But when I get the feeling that something is not right…I am very sure about it. A few times, the feeling has been so strong that the very hairs on the back of my neck have stood straight up. It’s hard to smile and be nice when your very being is poised to run from the encounter.

Having this gift requires me to be extra cautious about voicing my reaction. John has learned to live with it, but others are uncomfortable when I share with them about my “gift”.

I Cor. 12:11 says, “It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” This is a special ability I believe God has given me. It is my desire to use it wisely.


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This article has been read 695 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/29/07
This was fascinating! I'm so glad you felt free to share it.
Colin Swann12/03/07
With such a gift as discernment you also need a large dollop of wisdom and understanding. You have a head start on being able to pray for people and situations knowing that God loves and wants to change people and their situations.
thanks for sharing. Very different!!
Malin Boman12/05/07
Thanks for sharing! I totally understand your experience as I have the same gift/burden.
Yes, it can be hard to handle at times, especially around people that are not familiar with it or those that you try to 'warn' off other people.
I found praying is the best alternative, give Him the ultimate say in the situation and trust that He will protect/direct and shine light into areas of peoples lives that are effected.
May you be richly blessed as you declare His will be done in these peoples lives!
Peter Stone12/07/07
Congratulations on your placing. Great title for such a gift.