There are always going to be “those kind of people” and I know that. I think I’ve also identified a few of the “gifts” that make them so especially annoying and tough to tolerate and I’ve concluded that I don’t want their “spiritual gifts” that they seem so intent on exercising in the church and for the supposed glory of God. People who have these “gifts” are constantly exercising them and putting them to “good use.” In fact, they often don’t recognize that they have these “gifts” and using them is natural and like second-nature. I hope you don’t have any of these gifts, but if you do, I hope you stay far, far away from Discovery Church and also keep them hidden and unused at any church.
The “Spiritual Gift” of ‘Well I think…”
A person with this gift loves to share their thoughts, opinions and ideas with everyone. They always have a better way of doing things and can tell you story after story of how something isn’t being done right. Of course they also have an acute understanding of why all these problem exists in the church, and of course, how they would fix it – and most sentences start with, “Well I think….” Thoughts are often devoid of any biblical wisdom but loaded with plenty of personal pride.
The “Spiritual Gift” of Criticism
These people can not sit through a service, attend any function or serve well in any ministry because they always see the glass as half empty. They look for every little thing that’s wrong instead of celebrating the things that are right. They are constant initiators of disagreements and dissatisfaction because they often work behind the scenes pointing out all that’s wrong without ever lifting a finger to fix it. They can do this up close, but they often choose to work from a distance, jump to conclusions and use limited knowledge. Their criticism is often communicated either anonymously or through emails, letter, blogs, wall posts or other impersonal means.
The “Spiritual Gift” of Opposition
These people have a deeply felt belief that they need to be against anything and everything that doesn’t fit their understanding of the Bible, God and the teachings of Christ. They are right, all others are wrong. If they think a certain translation of the Bible is right – all others must be wrong and so they oppose them. If they think a particular denomination or style of worship is right, all others are wrong and they oppose them. The same goes for theological issues – whatever conclusion they’ve reached is right and all others are wrong, so they oppose them. They aren’t passive opposers, but active attackers who feel that exercising this spiritual gift is a God-given responsibility regardless of how they approach it.
The “Spiritual Gift” of Justifying
Those with this gift find any and every reason to explain away their thoughts, conclusions and behaviors without ever considering that maybe,just maybe, they should change them. If they’re rude and disrespectful, it’s ok, because they’re just trying to share the truth and people don’t like the truth. If they sin, there’s always a good reason that makes it alright in that particular situation. They can never actually be accused of doing wrong because they know they’re always right.
The “Spiritual Gift” of Discouragement
This is perhaps the most popular and prevalent of the gifts I don’t want. People with this gift are always ready to give an answer to the hope that you have and it’s usually in the form of why they couldn’t or wouldn’t and why you shouldn’t do something. Want to reach out to the community in a creative way? Someone with this gift would say you shouldn’t, maybe because it’s not Biblical or it will cost too much or even just that they don’t like it; anything to discourage you. They have the uncanny ability to manufacture reasons why things cannot be done, as well as supporting thoughts about all that would go wrong if you did do it. They find joy in others failures because it often provides the opportunity for them to say, “I told you so” while giving them a reference point for the next time they want to discourage you.
How frustrating and disappointing it is that people with these kinds of gifts are the ones that get the most attention in the church. They give us a bad name and give Christ a black-eye. And I’m sure there are others I missed. What are some of the “spiritual gifts” that you don’t want?