This week’s topic for spiritual gifts has literally to do with spirits, namely the gift of the discernment of spirits.
The origins of this gift as described in scripture are connected to notions of both divine and holy spiritual entities and evil ones that could influence (or afflict) people, but more contemporary uses of the term focus instead on trying to comprehend the will of God, especially when the answer is not immediately evident.
The gift of the discernment of spirits is often seen in the members of the Commission on Ministry, the diocesan body who is tasked with determining if a person is called to be a priest or a deacon. Nominating committees for bishop positions also similarly exercise this gift.
But this gift should also be present in the parish to serve the many people who are trying to determine what gifts they possess and what ministries to which they are called. The body of Christ can only grow when there are people who can help say, “you woul be great at this,” or “have you considered doing this.”
As with so many gifts, ego and prejudice can compromise the discerner, and so the position calls not only for a strong sense of understanding other people, but also ones self as well.
Yours in Christ,