by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday December 13, 2005
Manifestations of the Teaching Gift
We make effective use of our spiritual gift when we are filled with the Spirit, but relying on ourselves will get us off track. Let’s look at both godly and fleshly manifestations of the teaching gift.
A Christian gifted in teaching reaps the fruit of self-control by faithfully absorbing and applying Scripture (Galatians 5:23), whereas shifting to human reasoning leads to self-indulgence. Through one’s desire to learn, the Spirit develops dependability and diligence, but unless the believer abides in Christ, he or she can become careless and inconsistent. The fruit of peace and patience grows as studies lead to deeper faith, but anxiety and impatience result if the focus shifts to “self.”
If we don’t have this gift, how might we perceive those who do? We may suspect they are overemphasizing their studies or being prideful because of their knowledge. However, the characteristics of the gift of teaching show that the opposite is true. These believers desire accurate, thorough understanding so that they can share it with us for our benefit. At times, we might regard people with this ability as boring because of the quantity of information they present. We might even assume that they rely more on knowledge than on God’s Spirit. And yet it is the Holy Spirit who helps them to learn and to speak. We should realize teachers want us to have enough truth so that we can live God’s way and please Him.
As you exercise your God-given gift, pray for the Spirit’s lead — that is how to have the greatest impact for the kingdom.