The results of the psychological tests were sent to a doctor who would meet with us to discuss the results. He didn’t reveal much, but two things he told us in our 30 minutes or less meeting are embedded in my memory. He asked my husband why he didn’t continue in higher education because his tests revealed he’s quite smart. How smart? Who knows but smart enough this Dr. thought he should have continued past the AA degree he earned from community college.
To me, he said something like, “You’d make a good housewife.”
I was young then, in my 30’s, and still minding my manners with people I didn’t know, particularly a man with DR in front of his name who was screening us for this major life change. Lucky for him, I think.
Part of the process required by our denomination to be accepted as potential ordained ministers is testing. We underwent all manner of tests to assess our physical and mental health, including personality, aptitude and IQ tests.
Mind you, I wasn’t offended by the doctor’s remarks because that’s exactly what I was, a good homemaker! I had the privilege of choosing to be a stay at home mom, thanks to my brilliant husband who was working hard at a labor position he chose.
Fourteen years I’d been raising, teaching, nurturing, our two children. I’d been handling the household finances, managing the upkeep of our home, planning vacations and holidays, hosting parties and events, volunteering at their school leading the Parent Teacher Organization, the field trip mom and chief supporter. I was also volunteering at church, leading the youth group, youth choir and, at times, teaching Sunday school as well as singing in the choir and playing in the band. Yes, those expensive tests revealed so much.
“God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.”
During those years of leisure 😉 I attended a weekend seminar about the spiritual gifts. These are recorded and outlined in two main passages of the New Testament: Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. There we find the Apostle Paul using the analogy of the body and the function of its different parts to these God-given gifts.
Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. Romans 12:4-5 LB
The gifts, as outlined in these two passages include preaching, teaching, encouraging, mercy, leadership, wisdom, faith, discernment, helping, giving, serving, knowledge, speaking in unknown languages and the interpretation of these languages.
There are assessments you can take to help discover your areas of giftedness. I recommend this free one from Church Growth.
When I took the assessment 30 years ago, it identified the gifts of leadership and discernment as my primary gifts. These were reflected in what I was doing as a volunteer. Unknowingly, I was working within my calling through my spiritual gifts.
When I took this online test recently, encouragement and mercy emerged as primary gifts. Again, I find the results reflective of what our ministry requires of me at this time. The calling to serve hasn’t changed, but who I minister to has as have their particular needs.
“We are not called to special work, but to God.” Os Guinness[Tweet “Some of us are called to specific areas of vocation but our first and foremost calling is to God.”] To tune our ears and hearts to hear his voice so we may answer his call to reflect His love as we serve him. [Tweet “Do you find God’s call reflected in your God-given gifts?“] Please share in the comments so we may encourage each other.