A friend of mine drew my attention to a blog entry about spiritual gifts and I think it provides some interesting fodder for thinking about gifts. The entry is Adventism, the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts, written by Paul Whiting. He was surprised, and perhaps dismayed that his class was largely unable to identify their own spiritual gifts and the way in which they were used. As an ex-SDA I’m always interested in this type of discussion.
These days I approach this topic from another perspective, as a United Methodist with a substantially charismatic lean. I’ve even written a program for church members to use in discovering their gifts (Identifying Your Gifts and Service). But I find that many people in many churches either have trouble identifying their gifts, or are afraid to speak about them for fear of displaying pride. It can be very important, even critical for a church to identify and use the spiritual gifts of those members.
Seventh-day Adventists have an interesting perspective here because of the ministry of Ellen White, or at least they could have such a perspective. It’s interesting that many SDAs have explained the gift of prophecy in the modern church as being limited to Ellen White, while some of the same arguments that were used against Ellen White are now to be used against other manifestations of similar gifts.
Whatever your position and your denomination, I recommend reading Paul Whiting’s discussion as a help in thinking about this important topic.