Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
This is Wisdom
As a youth, I took countless versions of what are known as “spiritual gift inventories,” long- or short-form profiles where by answering a series of questions, your natural gifts for ministry are revealed. I never fully knew what to make of them then; mostly I remember hoping I wouldn’t get healing.
Over and over throughout my life in the church when I’ve taken those I find wisdom and knowledge fighting for dominance near the top of my list, one topping the other based on how I overanalyzed the questions that time around. When I was still a youth, I’d always ask, “What’s the difference between those?” only to receive insufficient replies from whichever leader was there reading off a piece of paper. Two gifts, poorly defined.
I’m a big fan of personality profiles—DISC, Enneagram, recently the Birkman Method. Whenever I lead youth leadership retreats, I try to incorporate both. I’ll usually start with a basic personality profile—this is your fullest expression if you never engage God in life. Then I would do the spiritual gifts assessment, showing that when we live faith-filled lives, we have an opportunity to funnel who we are individually into expressions of faith.
For me, the distinction between wisdom and faith eventually came down to this: knowledge is life well observed. Wisdom is life well expressed. I’ve observed tons about faith, life, and scripture. But if I use that to beat up, oppress, or undermine the faith of someone else, it becomes foolishness. If I can remember to use what I’ve observed to help others deepen their own faith, then suddenly I have wisdom.
Wisdom is knowledge made excellent.
What have you learned about your own personality or even spiritual gifts?
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