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A Counterfeit Gift of the Spirit — 8 Comments

  1. Well written William, and nice focus on the true fruit of the spirit which all must have first and foremost.

    Also to let you know that your articles over the years have been well received here. Sometimes it is good to comment if only to let you know that.

    May God continue to lead you in the future as he has in the past.

  2. Thank you William!

    One of my Christian friends has the gift of discernment and recently gave me insights and help that I needed to hear. It is a blessing when fellow church members can build up, edify and help one another.

    How hurtful it can be when people accuse us of wrong doing, especially when we have been trying to do good. Experiencing loving forgiveness in our hearts towards those that have hurt us seems to be a necessary and daily habit.

  3. Thank you William!

    It is a comfort to learn more about the scriptures and to focus on the positive. Seems so hard for most people, Christians included. When I first became a Christian, 36 years ago, I took Bible verses like Phil 4:8 to heart. For periods of time in my life, I was greatly influenced by the negativity and accusations of other Christians and I became discouraged. Now I am back to taking good things to heart. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he!

  4. My Dear Bro. Williams, God has truly inspired you with a gift. I'm praising God for you and using you to send us sound messages when it's most needful. We do have a sister in our church that knows the business of everyone in our congregation. What do I mean by this? If there's to be a nomination of officers; she sits on that committee or even to have a member to take part in a program; as soon as a name is called,she'll often say to the Pastor(Chair)"no pastor that one is not living right...or I heard he/she is having an affair... and I've spoken to them or going to. No that one dont dress right or not living right" Even to do the prelims she would speak against their attire or have knowledge of their deeds.
    Mind you she's well knowledgeable on the Spirit of Prophecy and the doctrines of the church. She preaches as well as does Bible training and when certain questions are asked that she has no answer she'll say she has no light on that. She's well respected and believed to be the most spiritual in our congregation/conference. However,she's very kind and helpful,never backs down from a task and involved in everything in church or Conference program.

    Though I love her dearly, I've told her I disagreed with her methodology. I'm not where I ought to be spiritually but from my reading I feel somehow this is not truly the fruit of the Spirit or God's method. Even in writing this I'm so self-conscious because I'm not seeking to tear her down but to get some clarity and functionality of Spirit and discernment. After the study of Fruit of the Spirit, I realized that my original idea didn't align with my current understanding and I'm begging God to infuse my heart with His love because if I'm kind and lack the other virtues it's a counterfeit. I've prayed for her but I fear if it's me who's missing the mark. I apologize for been so lengthy. Please keep me in your prayers as well. God bless!

    [Moderator Note: We have supplied a pseudonym to avoid the possibility of identifying the persons involved.]

    • Dear "Unsure,"
      I think I understand your feelings of discomfort. Although it's not possible to put one's finger on what's not right, it just doesn't *feel* right ..

      I believe there are several issues involved:
      1) I believe it's really spiritually unhealthy for a church to rely on one arbiter of spirituality. The pastor and others should not encourage these kind of directives from one person.
      2) You indicate that this woman apparently speaks to people about issues she sees. This can easily become spiritual abuse: A private judgment is inserted between a struggling sinner and God. Even when the human judgment is correct, the "counsel" may be counter-productive, because the natural human response is to resist. And this gives the struggler the opportunity to conclude they are resisting this *person* when the Holy Spirit may have been impressing his/her mind.
      3) More on "counsel": Counsel is best received from those one perceives as *friends.* Realistically, it is likely that not all recipients of counsel consider the counsel friendly.
      4) Has she been voted into a position of spiritual guidance, such as elder? In that case, her behavior may be more justified.

      Lastly, you or I cannot judge this woman either. God works through prayer. After speaking to her, the best thing you can do is pray. This also takes us back to point #1: We are each directly accountable to the Holy Spirit and need to guard against taking another human voice in place of the voice of the Spirit.

      Another positive thing to do is just to be positive: Encourage those who are discouraged. Greet them, hug them, love them, make them feel welcome. (That also means totally avoiding commenting on the behavior of others, including the woman in question.) Become so filled with the Spirit that the love spills out to all around you. Remember that Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to yeast that permeates all of one batch of dough. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through *you* to transform your church. He can do it. He has done it before!

  5. Some people claim to have the right answers and opinions. Some also have utmost control. I fail to see both tendencies as essential or desirable. Freedom of choice is a Biblical asset, however language that is unbecoming, I would not deem as biblical or desirable. Differences of opinion may be helpful in understanding a scripture or reference, especially if guided by the Holy Spirit. Censorship requires guidance also.

  6. Sometimes even those who have the gift can use it, but improperly. We all fall short, but this article and others like it are very edifying words to keep us on track,that we may repent of any gifts misuse or knowledge we have because of a spiritual gift we have and to turn around and use it to hurt others or to boost our own egos. We need to stay humble and think righteously before, during, and after the gift is used.


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