Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One of the Higher Spiritual Gifts

There are lists of spiritual gifts - in Romans 12, in 1 Corinthians 12, in Ephesians 4, plus a few other isolated references in 1Cor 7 and 1Pet 4.

There is also a common distinction made between teaching, as in presenting new insights, and preaching, as in exhortation. Perhaps the gift I have in mind is just a subset of that latter.

I find as I am older that neither reading the scriptures, nor prayer, nor listening to others brings me anything new.  But I think that's a feature, not a bug. If I haven't got the basics down at this point, I'm never going to.  But what I need over and over, my daily bread in the spiritual realm, are reminders.  I very quickly lose what I know in the heat of the battle - there are many holes in the bottom of my bucket and all the good stuff runs out pretty quickly.

The Gift of Reminding is one of the higher gifts we should aspire to.

12 comments:

james said...

I think Jesus' "watch" means not just "keep your eyes open" but keep your gear ready, so to speak. I can spend a few hours online keeping up with a few of the world's trends, but musings on the lunacy of the world aren't likely to hone my mind and spirit for the time the always-unexpected test comes.

Dubbahdee said...

Beware the man who make a living manufacturing antiques.

panjoomby said...

speaking of gifts - thank you for your very cogent comments at other websites - you have the ability to discuss complex concepts in a very down to earth & understandable way:) i appreciate that! carry on, smartly.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Thank you. I am a better commenter than blogger, certainly.

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james said...

I don't think you should be so certain, AVI. Not just comments but links to various of your posts are sprinkled around the net.

Sometimes blogging waits for consolidation and for something (never quite sure what) to mature. Good comments wait for good posts. A season for everything.

Ralph Kinney Bennett said...

Thanks AVI for this little post. Sometimes I think the best exercise of the "Gift of Reminding" is simply DOING. The reminders of Christ's love and His follower's duties that most affect me are when I see Christians ACTING in his name (often without explicitly making that clear -- often unbeknownst to the beneficiaries of their acts). Loving the unlovable, making hospital and rest home visits even though they find it difficult, helping the stranger, etc. These are things that some rare beings -- Christian or not -- seem to have a gift for. But for those of us who believe, we should, no matter how difficult we find it, seek to cultivate this gift.
Ralph Kinney Bennett

Jonathan said...

Don't worry Dad, your blogging and commenting are on equal footing in my mind- both a distant second to face-to-face. You're much less charming on paper.

Dubbahdee said...

Where's the damned "LIKE" button when you need one?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Jonathan - I am to you anyway. That may not be a universally-held opinion.

Dubbahdee said...

Martin Luther rather agrees with you, in his own fashion:

“Here I must take counsel of the gospel. I must listen to the gospel, which teaches me, not what I ought to do, (for that is the proper office of the law), but what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done for me: specifically, that He suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death. The gospel wills me to receive this, and to believe it. And this is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consists. Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually.”

Retriever said...

Jonathan, be nice to your old Dad. My kids used to have the charming habit of hissing at me, as I drove home after church after preaching of a Sunday, "Mom, they think you;re so holy and sweet, but WE KNOW BETTER!" Kids are God's daily reminders to us of our feet of clay (and sometimes still our greatest joy, sometimes seconds after one has wanted to slash a velociraptor claw across their disrespectful bellies)...

Thanks, AVI , for this post. And for your blog generally--you do a lot of reminding for all of us which is a blessing to us all.

Now I will slink back to my solitary couch, hacking and coughing with this Froggie cough that won't quit despite les Antibiotics Americaines and try and think of even one good thing about the holiday season. I am trying to remind myself that they are are supposed to be holy days. Lately, I've been in a red cap, rebel and put heads on pikes as I wander around my hedge fund capital of the world neighborhood looking at loathsome spendthrift bimbos wasting a family's year's living expenses on interior decoration of one pathetic cloakroom . Grrrr. Also, realizing how this corrupt place has made me ever more materialist. Where is John the Baptist when we need Him? Well, sleeping under a bridge and being harassed by Bloomberg's thugs or my town's overpaid cops....Ho hum.

I do a lot f defending the Pope these days, tho a dirty Protestant myself. Because it enchants me to hear the Vatican talking about Jesus and loving the poor and preaching the gospel again. Instead of all that loathsome crap telling people what to do or not do in their bedrooms, or colluding with corrupt principalities and powers in the name of anti-communism...

I used to supervise a bunch of Jesuit novices in the Catholic child welfare agent where I was the chaplain. We all saw that great film "The Mission" and I try to watch it every few years during Advent or Lent. Don't snicker, but being a wrathful type and prone to idiotic actions I later regret, I can relate to De Niro's penance dragging that suit of armor thru the jungle....A reminder of the weight of sin and the way we can sometimes keep dragging it around til it sometimes becomes almost a source of pride and/or way of avoiding taking the path God wants us to.

Enough (feverish, that's my excuse)