“Have you run out of those nice, shiny daggers?” – Samwise Gamgee, “Lord of the Rings”
I felt a little bad for Sam in the movie, “The Lord of the Rings, (extended edition)” when he received a rope and all of his pals received “shiny daggers.” Later, however, he discovered that the rope was really what he needed at a crucial point on the journey. But even so, it was okay for him to want one of those daggers. Not out of jealousy, but because they were “better” gifts. In fact, he would have to use daggers and/or swords even more than rope as the journey continued.
The illustration breaks down a bit here, but stay with me. God gifts each of us differently and at different times for different tasks. But according to 1 Corinthians 12:13 there are gifts we should be desiring and growing in – gifts that are different from the ones we have right now.
1 Corinthians 12:31 – “So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.” – NLT
Consider a few “maybe’s”:
As a follower of Jesus, maybe your Spiritual Gift isn’t a “personality type,” after all. Maybe that “Spiritual Gift Inventory” test you took 7 years ago doesn’t define the rest of your life. Maybe God wants you to be and do more in the days ahead. Maybe the Spiritual Gifts you have now are not the only Spiritual Gifts that you can have in the days ahead. Maybe you shouldn’t settle for the Spiritual Gift you’ve been given. Maybe there are assignments ahead that will require a different set of gifts.
Otherwise, it would be pretty odd to be told by Scripture to desire them. And to do so “earnestly,” even…
Maybe we should stop thinking of how we were “shaped,” and start considering how God is “shaping” us. One view looks backward; the other looks backward and forward – then leans into “forward.”
More than a “cookie cutter” handout, “Spiritual Gifts” are spiritual power tools that are given by God for the purpose of strengthening the church, building others up and accomplishing God’s purposes. They are for equipping you as you “live a way of life that is best of all.”
Too much “navel gazing” and introspection can cause you to base your decisions and movements on what only “you” can do. But God’s strength is displayed beautifully in your weakness and dependence on him.
Be faithful with the “rope” you’ve been given today, keep moving forward and who knows? Perhaps later you’ll be given a “shiny dagger” for the adventure that lies ahead….