Sorry, That’s Not My Gift

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” – I Corinthians 12: 1

I’m having second thoughts on spiritual gifts.

For a time now, we’ve been saying — I’ve been saying — that folks need to discern their particular gifts and be supported in exercising those gifts. We have done gift discernment inventories. We have offered gift discernment workshops.

And sometimes that’s been terrific. Some people have named a gift they hadn’t recognized and claimed a ministry that had their name written all over it. Hallelujah!

But sometimes this has gone sideways. As in, the dishes need to be washed. The trash wants taking out. The notes for the meeting need to be taken and distributed. Or someone has to ask people for a pledge for next year’s budget.

And people say, “Sorry — not my gift.”

Sometimes there’s stuff that just needs to be done. Sometimes — well, really, all the time — there are mundane things that need to happen so the group, family, church, etc. can function. Someone has to show up to unlock the door. Someone has to take the food donations to the food bank. Someone has to count the offering.

Sometimes, in fact, it may even be good for us to do stuff — service — that has no glory in it, that isn’t really fulfilling for us. We do it because it needs to be done. We serve, whether the task at hand is exactly our thing or not. And maybe we even forget about ourselves while we’re doing it — which may, in the end, be at least part of the point of service in the first place.


God, grant me grace so to lose myself in service to you that I may be truly found. Amen.

ddrobinson.jpgAbout the Author
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. He is the author of many books, including What’s Theology Got to Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. You can read Tony’s “Weekly Meditation” and “What’s Tony Thinking?” at his website,