“The Horse Whisperer”
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. There are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).”
In olden times there was a village in which a certain king sought to benefit his subjects with the gift of a trusty steed that would serve them well. To some he gifted them with a horse suited for pulling carts to take goods to and from town. To others he gave strong mule that could plow with endurance. Some were given horses fitted for war and to some those that were temperamental but speedy for their station. Some accepted their gift horses readily and prospered. Others protested that their “nags” didn’t match their need to race about the land. These refused to train and master their partners for their course and they struggled. Those who sought appeal before the king received the same reply; “There has been no mistake in matching you. I personally appointed your suitable pairing.”
There is a favorite passage of many that states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).” We often like to interpret that as, “Take your child to church when they are young and even though they may abandon the practice in early adulthood as they get older they will return.” But literally translated this verse may be translated: “train up a child according to his way.” That is according to their individual bent, inclinations, proclivities, or aptitudes. For example, don’t try to force a child who is mechanically inclined to be a doctor or a lawyer.1 As a parent identifies certain traits or inclinations these should be encouraged and developed to serve them in life.
Inherent in this is the truth that all of us have been gifted with differing spirits, talents, and abilities. Even those from the same gene pool can be vastly different. Esau and Jacob were twins but one was an outdoorsman and hunter while the younger was a mild man who preferred the indoors (Genesis 25:27). Their proclivities were not only varied but their spirits as well. Esau focused on the here and now while Jacob was a big picture guy who looked to the future. Andrew and Peter were biological brothers but their biblical records portray that they had differing talents and spirits.
Job seemed to grasp the concept that there is a spirit in man (Job 32:8) which Daniel confirms by the spirit that dwelled in his body (Daniel 7:15). Zechariah instructs that the same God who created the heavens and the earth formed the spirit of each man with him (Zechariah 12:1). God formed your spirit and placed it into your body (Psalm 139:13-14). It would appear obvious that God did not do this in a cookie cutter fashion but rather He formed each of us differently by design.
Some personalities always have the volume turned up to 11 such as Peter (John 13:6-8). This is sometimes very constructive (Matthew 16:16, Acts 2:14) but at other times this strong spirit untamed can be a hindrance (Matthew 16:22-23). Each of us have been given a pairing of body and soul from the Creator to be profitable for Him. It is our duty to understand these unique qualities He has bestowed on us and develop and discipline them.
In this way His church is a great refinery or even a workshop where these qualities are utilized for the benefit of others who are needful of our individual gifts (1 Peter 4:10). Paul detailed how God uses each of our unique qualities for the purpose of building up one another in Romans 12:3-8. It is here that what each one of us brings benefits not only ourselves but the entire kingdom and God is glorified.
The world may not appreciate who you are. Your personality may not be received warmly but all. Your talents and abilities may not be highly valued out there. But you have been called out of the world by God to serve His subjects in His kingdom. He highly values who you are and what you bring to serve the church.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).”