May 7, 2009

False Distinction Between Gifts & Roles

When was the last time you took a spiritual gifts inventory or answered a church survey to see how God might be leading you to serve in your church? Maybe you are in ministry to women who have particular gifts and talents, but they need guidance in knowing how they translate to the community of believers. Many people have knowledge or insight about their gifts before they even pick up the pencil to fill out a questionnaire, but these instruments can become wonderfully useful tools of discovery for the church.

But I pause to consider if some women in the church, instead of searching for ways to use or discover their gifts, are actively suppressing the identification and use of them as a twisted act of selflessness, or perhaps—and equally as worrisome—they are confusing gifts with roles. GFL’s managing editor Caryn Rivadeniera’s recent book, Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., has caused me to examine this issue a bit closer. In my review of her book on my blog, I offer a possible reason why embracing this aspect of identity is difficult for some women, attributing it to a contemporary form of asceticism—a denial of pleasures for some sort of spiritual attainment.

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