In light of some of what we’ve discussed recently, I wanted to republish a post I put up years ago. The content remains something I want to pursue at Life Support:
“Gifts of the Spirit” What do you think about when you hear that? Go ahead and get a few pictures and concepts in mind.
“Fruit of the Spirit” What do you think about when you hear that? Again, go ahead and get a few concepts and images in your mind.
How similar are your pictures? Do we, practically speaking, based on what we associate with the gifts of the Spirit, almost think of two distinctly different “Spirits”–one that does fruit and another gifts? I’ve heard of ‘cafeteria catholics’, but is that what we in the West tend to do with the Spirit? I long for Paul’s attitude:
- he prioritizes love, and simultaneously encourages folks to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, out of a desire to love and build others up,
- he speaks and prays in tongues and is glad for it, but when he’s with others, always seeks gifts that can benefit them,
- he, in a nutshell, sees the gifts as particular expressions of love for people from God, and wants us all to seek gifts in that vein.
There are many ways the Spirit works, but just one Spirit. There is not a “social justice” Holy Spirit, and a separate “charismatic” Holy Spirit, and yet another that inspired the scriptures. There’s just One who does all of that and more. Can we welcome such a Spirit? Can we embody such a Spirit? The Holy Fire, the Living Water, the Comforter, God’s Breath?