[balance: showing off vs. keeping a secret]

[balance: showing off vs. keeping a secret]

At a prayer meeting today, we talked about spiritual gifts.

Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.

1 Corinthians 12:28, NLT

My pastor asked “The Bible says we ‘should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.’ Which of the gifts mentioned before do you think you have?”

Everyone quietly reflected upon this question. I knew my answer, but I kept quiet.

I have been told a few times that I have the gift of prophesy. Not in the understanding of prophesy as just knowing / telling the future (which is the standard understanding of that gift), but rather… being a voice of reason and truth amidst the confusion.

I am FAR from learning how to use my gift properly, but I noticed that more and more often I feel like Jeremiah. When I feel like I am just a kid and yet I have to talk to the adults about something serious. It’s frustrating at times. But I am learning.

Nonetheless, like I said, when the question was asked, I remained silent.

Why?

Because I had no idea what the reaction would be. I did not want to appear like a standard “Holier-than-Thou” person who claimed to have the gift Paul said we should desire. I did not want to be the smart aleck…

I don’t know. This struggle between not wanting to just be perceived as a show-off and at the same time knowing that I cannot remain silent is driving me up the wall sometimes. I am trying to find balance (here as well as in other areas of my life)…

The reason why I almost never watch Christian shows on TV is because although those people theoretically (not always, but most of the time) say the right words / ideas… they do not feel genuine. (Nothing personal, just my opinion.) Maybe they are genuine inside, but they look usually too picture-perfect, praying emotionally, using powerful words, hand gestures are all monitored and controlled… *Shrug*

Have you ever struggled with this idea?

Struggled deciding to pray out loud at the prayer meeting because that’s what the prayer meetings are for, but at the same time do not want to sound like a saint who knows all the right words?

Or balancing the number of ministries you’re involved in at Church? (This one has been quite a roller-coaster for me… or more like a pendulum. I keep swinging from being involved in almost everything to giving all the ministries up to new people, so they get a chance to serve as well… And right now, I find myself more and more involved again because I keep being asked to get involved and… and yes.)

Thoughts, ramblings, ideas, and advice are welcome.

(My blog does not have anti-rambling policy, so feel free to write away 😉 )

  • I can somewhat relate to this post. I often times do not say things in meetings or groups even though what I have to say is good. I don't know if I think I sound holier than thou, but I think what I have to say is stupid. Later on though, I realize it was not stupid at all. I know one time we had a disagreement in a Bible study because one lady said it was totally ok to watch rated R movies. I wasn't trying to be legalistic, but I said "where does the verse about only thinking about what is pure, what is good, and holy come into play then?" I just wanted her to think about that because apparently she only watched Rated R movies. She stopped talking then kind of got upset at me. I wasn't trying to be holier than thou, but apparently I came across that way. Maybe she went home and thought about it. I don't know. (Please don't hear me say that movies are bad. I just was proving a point that we need to think about what the Bible says about things, not just what we want to do all the time). Anyway, so I can relate with you. Most of the time I do not speak up for fear of what I say coming across the wrong way or I will sound like an idiot or be wrong.

    • i hear ya… it's tough sometimes to choose between keeping good relationships and sticking with the truth.

      (and ain't it weird how often we re-think our past actions and think "hmmm, i should've said that" or "shouldn't have said that" or "should've done that"….)

  • This even happens as the "top" leader – as a pastor, it is a constant struggle to lead and preach without presenting myself as "better" of "more together" than the folks I minister with – many of whom make me look like a spiritual baby. It is healthy to have this self-check, so don't try to suppress it. But you should speak with someone you consider a spiritual mentor about your gifting to explore how to use it well.

  • thanks for the advice, Herb.

    yeah, i don't think the pastors are exempt from this problem. if anything, they might be under even a bigger pressure because they HAVE to set the example for people to follow but at the same time try not to show off the faith, but remain true to the image God's got of us.

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