Kathy said, "Debbie, I told my daughter your crazy donut lady story (check blog post with similar name), and now I have a story for you!" Kathy then tells me that her son in law had a church member that wanted to meet with him. When the lady arrived she told the pastor that she had been wanting to leave the church. There were several things she didn't like, and there were certain things about his sermons that she didn't care for when he spoke.
At this point in the story I am sure you think she went on her way... not so fast. She told Kathy's son in law that she had- had a change of heart and now felt she should stay because she now realized that she had a ministry at this church. She realized that she had (and I quote) "the spiritual gift of correction." Yes, that is right. The Almighty himself had blessed her with the "gift" of correcting others. By the way, I hope you are not slouching as you read this (just flexing my spiritual correction gift)! It is true, I went to seminary, but I don't claim to know everything. I am pretty sure correcting others toward your comfort zone doesn't qualify as a spiritual gift. In fact, Christ had something to say about that very topic.
Judging Others1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Now, TD Jakes has a good saying. He says, "Your misery is your ministry." He means, the desire you have to see something done well, inspires you to serve. I think if you can't respect your leadership, and enjoy (for the most part) where you serve, your misery is just that... misery... for everyone. You can never find the good four letter word that is HOPE when you are holding onto the bad.
Let's hear it for hope! It is one of the top three hits of the "love chapter" (1 Corinthians 13). Faith, HOPE, and Love, and while the greatest of these is love, hope isn't a bad consolation. I think that the other good four letter word, love, is how you get to hope. Love puts you in a Jesus state of mind. Love enables you to find the good and that allows you to find the hope.
What about you? Got any non-spiritual gifts weighing you down? The "gift" of complaining, or the "gift" of worry? Psst, they ain't gifts and they for sure ain't spiritual. Filter your life through God's love and you will find the hope that alludes many in both the good times and the hard times.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.