Our theme this Sunday was “God blesses us so that we might bless others.” However, before we got started, several people were talking about the new movie “The Help.” It’s sad to think about the racism that existed in our country, within most of our lifetimes. Most of us were not raised in the South though, so it was less. In fact, as our teacher of the day shared, some were, as children at least, mostly unaware that skin color should make any difference whatsoever in how one was treated. Someone offered a tale of how a coworker was late to a meeting, after being pulled over for driving while brown. Then someone else shared how they were having dinner with some friends, who are quite brilliant but also people of color. She wanted to say how articulate the man was, when he suddenly seemed to read her mind, and complained about people using that term. To him apparently, it was a put down, as if people were saying you are very well spoken for a person of color. Obviously, it is hard for us who happen to be white, when we think we are operating in a colorblind manner, but the person we are interacting with interprets our speech quite differently because of their own issues and life experiences. Any comments? How do you deal with that sort of situation?
We had to cut that discussion off to get into our study. The scriptures were mainly from Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12. So we were discussing primarily our spiritual gifts. We had some discussion about how the gifts need to be combined with the fruits of the Spirit, or else some can be used in a rather harsh way. Someone observed that we may tend to act according to our gifts almost unconsciously. That led to a question about whether you could ignore or hide a gift. The answer was an immediate yes, followed by a story about how one person is comfortable in the kitchen for our weekly senior day. But she has been asked to lead a bible study, which would use another of her gifts, but is outside her comfort zone. Another answer was that there are some gifts such as prophecy, or discerning of spirits that do not make one popular. Those that have them may run away from them at first for that reason. Things got pretty lively for a bit.
When it settled down, another member observed that many of us become a little anxious about what to do with our gifts, after they are identified. His observations was that if God has given us a gift, He will surely open the right doors so we can use it to benefit the body. That was a comfort to me as I occasionally struggle with how far I am from my own understanding of how to use my gifts. I do need to relax and just trust that God will open the right doors at the right times.
We kind of zoomed to the end in order to finish the chapter. We are encouraged to think about how we can use our gifts and blessings to bless others this week. Life lessons were that, “God saved me because He loves me. God’s purpose for saving me was to bring Him glory. I am most like Jesus when I serve others.”