On The Nose

A while back my youth pastor was teaching us about spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are gifts given to every Christian by God for the betterment of the church. Everyone has them to varying degrees, and it’s impossible for anyone other than God to know exactly how many we have, how strong they are, and how they manifest themselves. Maybe that’s why it was so hard for me to understand mine.

I’m an exact answers person. I like to be able to explain why if I ask. Why is my hair greasy today? Why does this math work the way it does? Why do these two things in the Bible seem to counteract each other, and yet are in the same paragraph like they don’t? I don’t like unanswered questions. They tend to stop me in my mental tracks.

And so learning about spiritual gifts was difficult for me, because I felt like I hadn’t figured mine out. I had taken a few tests, and knew some things about myself on my own, but as the lesson kept going, I felt I didn’t have anything concrete, anything I could hold onto without doubt.

I struggle with doubt. In my quest for exact answers I tend to over think things a lot. This makes me question things I used to think of as fact, and it makes me worry. And I tend to obsess over the things I have doubt about, to try and find those exact answers. So I kept looking, and looking, and looking for what my strongest spiritual gift was, the one that defined me most. Long story short, it took a while.

I talked to my parents and some friends, and prayed, but it wasn’t until a little later that I got an answer. I think it was only a short time after talking about spiritual gifts that my youth group gathered around and shared things about their life, their Christmas break, things they were grateful for, etc. And one of my friends said something about me that I had never thought about before. She said (paraphrasing) that I am a positive person, and it helps her. She said I seemed happy a lot.

Like I said, I had never thought about it before. And when she said it, one of my first reactions was something like: how is this possible? I’m introverted, and I have to push myself to talk to people. There was a time when I thought I was kind of a dark person. But as I kept thinking about it, I saw truth in what she said. I realized I find happiness in a lot of things.  I like to skip and feel my hair dance on my shoulders as I do. I like to dance to music even though I think I’m not good.

Hi! Just wanted to make your day.

And as I thought about it today, as I was thinking about writing this post, I realized that I find joy in spreading happiness. I like to make people laugh and smile. I like to dance with people in crowds, especially when it encourages others to dance too. I like to tell jokes, share cute stickers on FaceBook, and I like to see and hear people laugh and smile. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think that one of my spiritual gifts is something I’ve had for a long time: happiness. I think it’s my job to help spread happiness, however I’m able. Though, if it’s something you love, is it really a job?

I called this blog post On The Nose because that’s where this spiritual gift of mine has been for the last little while. Right on the tip of my nose. Have you ever noticed that when you focus on your nose really hard, you can’t see it? It’s right there on your face, but if you try and look at it too hard, all you see is through it. That’s what I was doing with my spiritual gifts. They are right there, on the front of my face, but I was looking so hard, all I could see was through them at all of the thoughts I had brewed up about them.

I didn’t know it, but if I had stopped looking so hard and just trusted that they were there, and that I would see them when God said it was time, I would have had a lot less stress. Proverbs 3:5 reads:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”*

To me, this translates to: “You can’t do it alone. You need to trust that God will do it.” This is hard for me to remember, that no matter how much I think about or try to do things on my own, I can’t do it. I’m hardly ever going to get the exact answers that I’m looking for, because I am not God, and I do not know everything.

Happiness is just one of my spiritual gifts, and there are still more to learn about. But instead of worrying and looking for them on my own, I’m going to trust that God will show them to me when I’m ready. So thanks for reading my post everyone, I hope it’s been helpful. See you all next time, and have a great day. 🙂

*English Standard Version