What is your spiritual gift?
If you have asked yourself this question, there’s a chance you might have tried out one of those online spiritual gift tests. Typically rating yourself on a scale of 1-5, you measure yourself against statements like, “I seek to inspire others who are facing difficulties,” “other people tend to follow me,” and “I have a burden for the lost.” But how accurate are these tests?
“Should I?” or “Should I not?”
We’ve all faced situations in which we’ve pondered both of these questions. Should I take the job offer and relocate myself and my family? Should I pursue THAT young lady? …or that other one? Should the church shelter illegal immigrants from the government? Should I vote for one of those candidates? Should I study Bible at college, or should I study business just to “play it safe?” Should I have that procedure done? These episodes, and others like them, vary from person to person, but they all prompt us to consider the will of God for our lives.
This Sunday is perhaps the biggest holiday in America. More than 100 million people from the United States alone will be tuned in to watch the Super Bowl. During the game Americans will eat over 2400 calories of junk food during the game. The Super Bowl has always been played on a Sunday. It’s just a part of our culture and it’s super fun! This year my New England Patriots will once again be defending their reign as a true football dynasty. In the midst of this hubbub it’s easy to forget about another thing that tends to happen on Sundays. What’s it called again? Oh yes, church.
At one time or another, every one of us has been the recipient of bad counsel from a fellow Christian. It can be a tough thing to swallow advice tainted with inaccuracies, hurtful words, or false assumptions. We all know what our default response is to such counsel. We might get angry at their intrusiveness, be discouraged by their hurtful tone, or even be judgmental toward their judgmentalism. But is there a way to receive bad counsel in a such a way that is beneficial, not only for you, but also for your fellow Christian?
By ‘bad counsel,’ I am not referring to false teaching or heretical counsel which rejects Jesus Christ and his Word. This counsel must be utterly rejected. I’m referring to counsel delivered by a Christian brother or sister that might come across as judgmental, hypocritical, ‘legalistic,’ or insensitive. I understand that there is a time and place to lovingly confront such counsel, but how can we actually benefit from it? Here are four ways that you can make the most of a less-than-ideal counseling situation.
Have you ever read your Bible and come across something that bothered you? Something that made you uncomfortable? Something you disagreed with? I hope you have.
Many people mistakenly assume that everything they read in their Bibles should line up with how they see the world. God should behave the way they expect him to, and in ways that make them comfortable. But God is a person with a mind and a will, just like you and I. And since no two humans see the world the same way, and no two humans come to the same conclusions, why would we expect to agree with God on everything he has said or done?
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