Seven great gifts

1

There are seven great gifts that we can offer in a faith sharing relationship.

Don’t cringe. Let us not be afraid that witness is always heavy-handed. Instead, let us freely give the seven gifts, or any one of them. What are the gifts we are giving when we give  witness?

  1. Time
    The single most precious gift wecan give is the time to be withanother. The gift of time can neverbe made up or paid back. It is anultimate act of generosity.
  2. Listening
    Do you know that feeling whensomeone else is really listeningto you, really hearing you, meetingyou at heart? Gold.
  3. Blessing
    In a world nearly full of peopleexperiencing some kind ofunworthiness or rejection, find whatyou can bless and bless it, affirmthem, and pray for them.
  4. Authenticity
    Ordinary, everyday, gardenvariety,scared-to-try-it, don’tknow-all-the-answers Christians,who are ‘not paid to say that sortof thing’ are on the front line of theKingdom’s work  in our society. Andthey are tremendously effective.Resist the temptation to ‘beef it upa bit’ with religious content. Youwould be underestimating howpowerful the love  between a groupof authentic Christians is.
  5. Community
    The credible church has a diversity of approaches to theircommunity. It is very important towelcome that diversity and not betoo precious. Every approach I haveever seen  has reached someone andoffended someone else — there is NO perfectly safe or always effective approach. Get used to that diversity. It was God’s idea.
  6. Respect
    Everyone deserves respect. Everyone is a sacred site. You may not like their smell, their views, their religion, their clothing, their music, their sexuality, their living arrangements, their politics, but the New Testament is clear that you must communicate your respect for them. Ask, and take an interest in what interests them, as far as you  are able. Everyone is a gift from God to the planet. They have come in to yourorbit. It is up to you to discover that gift of God.
  7. Hospitality
    In Jesus’ life, as recorded in the Gospels, so much takes place around sharing food. It is not just about food – the idea of a ‘welcome’. Hospitality is also done through respect,  listening and other things above.If you pay attention to each person fairly and kindly, and if you are doing something with your life that makes a difference, you demonstrate a  real faith in a real God in the real world.

What one or two changes are you motivated to build into your love and lifestyle?

Inspired?

Rev Dr Ian Robinson will be leading a Makes You Wonder workshop to help you express your faith in your own words on Saturday 14 June at St Stephen’s School Carramar Campus,   10.00am–12noon. A full day workshop will also be held on Saturday 8 November at Victoria Park and Districts Star St Uniting Church. For more info visit http://makesyouwonder.yolasite.com.

Ian Robinson

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