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Gifts or Fruit? What should I be chasing?

By Prem Lee.

Many teach on the importance of identifying our gifts and then using it powerfully for the kingdom of God.

My perspectives on this is quite the reverse, and so if you do not agree with my thought, that is understandable.

Paul does mention all of us are gifted in Romans 12:3-8 and that we should use our gifts to bless the church.

But some see the gifts of the Spirit as different and over and above our natural gifts. It may be true.

But should I be seeking these spiritual gifts or seeking the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-23 and seeking to serve the people?

When the focus is on gifts, the focus is on ME and what God has empowered ME with. When the focus is on the needs of people, the focus is others and how I can help them. In my serving others, God will give me whatever gifts and abilities are needed. Rather than seeking gifts, I need to seek the fruit of the Spirit in my life, and that is what Paul emphasizes in 1 Corinthians 13.

Vs 1-3 say that all the gifts are meaningless without the fruit of the Spirit – love. As we develop the character God wants us to have, He will fill us with gifts which He can use through us. Remember, the gifts are used by God and not us.

None of the great men of the Bible asked for gifts, it was given to them. I find 1 Thessalonians 1:5 relevant in this. “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”

The power of the Holy Spirit was seen in the lives of Paul and his companions by the ‘kind of life’ they led rather than gifts which they displayed. Seek God and His will and leave everything else in His hand.


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