Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)
TITLE: Gift or Burden?
By Joy Bach
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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”.
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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