Spiritual Intelligence: What Is It?
- Monday, June 18, 2012
SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE - WHAT IS IT?
Are you familiar with “emotional intelligence” or “social intelligence”? I suggest another category for the list of multiple intelligences: “spiritual intelligence". For Christians, spiritual intelligence would include our ability to recognize how God works through us.
Crosswalk recently published several articles on spiritual gifts. My previous Crosswalk article described the gifts themselves, and this article will now discuss how to identify them in your own life.
Someone might object, “Why not let the gifts simply manifest themselves? Why try to discover your own gifts? Isn’t that some form of pride?”
Let me respond with an observation: when you don’t know you have a tool, it’s hard to use it. Yes, the believers at Pentecost (Acts 2) did not know they could speak in tongues, it just happened. Yet when Peter later healed people, he did so with such confidence that I suspect Peter knew The Lord gave him both the ability and the authority to heal in the name of Christ. Likewise, when we know our gifts we can minister to others with confidence, knowing that The Lord has given us both the ability and authority to accomplish ministry in the name of Christ.
As another guard against self-obsession, please also remember that Paul provided believers with a simple remedy for being overly impressed with their own gifts. His love-test in 1 Corinthians 13 challenged believers to motivate their gifts with an others-focused love.
Additionally, scripture tells us that gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit’s sovereign will (1 Corinthians 12:11), so bragging about our gifts makes about as much sense as bragging about the color of our eyes.
SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE - TOOLS FOR IDENTIFYING YOUR SPECIFIC GIFTS
So how then do we discover these gifts? A number of spiritual gifts inventories exist for believers who want to know more about their own gifts. I will briefly review five.
1. Uniquely You
One of the most verbose inventories is by Mels Carbonell, Ph. D. and Stanley R. Ponz, D. Min. The Uniquely You inventory combines a spiritual gifts analysis with the DISC personality profile. The stated purpose of Carbonell’s publications: “to increase involvement and reduce conflicts in the church and at work.” The Uniquely You indicator comes in a variety of combinations of various lengths, which can be ordered from the website https://www.uniquelyyou.com.
Believers may object to pairing a secular personality test with sacred gifts. After all, the DISC personality types are adapted from Hippocrates’ descriptions of the Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholy personalities. Yet I suggest the pairing is entirely appropriate in a tool designed to reduce conflict in churches. As the Uniquely You indicator itself explains, when you know what makes you tick, you can better control what ticks you off. Charismatic believers will be disappointed by this inventory, because it does not profile the more miraculous gifts (i.e., healing and tongues).
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