Every Christian has Charisma

GiftCharisma, Greek for gift or favor, has a slightly different meaning in English.  A person with charisma displays magnetic charm and/or a persuasive personality.

We recognize human charisma when we see it. 

If you are a Christian, you have super-human charisma.  Do others see it?

In the New Testament, Paul’s writings in particular, the word charisma refers to God’s gifts to us, the most important gift being eternal life in Christ.  God, also gives us every spiritual blessing in Christ and uniquely equips each and every believer for service in the Body of Christ.

In other words, charisma is God’s grace in action through ordinary human beings like you and me for service to each other and for the building up of the church.

God wants the Body of Christ to be magnetic, attractive, and powerful.

It is my perception (and I’m open to correction) that the church is lacking some charisma because many Christians are not fully using their gifts.  Why?  I have a few ideas, and I invite yours:

1)  The obvious first step to full gift utilization is to educate Christians on the subject of spiritual gifts.   Spiritual gift tests and studies have been used by churches and study groups toward this end for years.  It’s a good start.

2)  Perhaps we confuse natural talents, skills and aptitudes with spiritual gifts.  Spiritual gifts are by definition NOT natural gifts.

The successful business executive might not be the best candidate for church treasurer if his or her strongest spiritual gifts are showing mercy and offering practical help.  The kindergarten teacher with a gift of evangelism  might not want to teach young children in Sunday School.

3)  Let’s encourage a wider range of creative outlets for the exercise of spiritual gifts.  Too often the end-game in spiritual gift assessments is to staff ministry programs in the church.  Of course, those are valid and important needs, but something tells me that God has a broader scope in mind for the activation of his charisma.

4)  It takes experimentation, time and maturity to fully recognize and express God’s gifts.  Try it.  Explore.  See what feels right and what doesn’t.  God might surprise you. (In fact, I can almost guarantee that he will.)  Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried to serve in an area or two and it hasn’t gone well.  Try something else, or give it some more time.

5) Remember that spiritual gifts are not about you.  Human charisma attracts followers to a person; the gifts of the Spirit activate the Body of Christ (the Church) and attract people to God.  Human charisma is often self-serving; God’s gifts are always for the benefit of others.

How do you express your charisma?  Do you agree with me that God’s gifts are underutilized?  If so, why?

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”  1 Cor. 12:7

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9 Responses to Every Christian has Charisma

  1. Robin Claire says:

    Hi Judy,
    I liked your post here. I also believe that Christians don’t exercise their spiritual gifts either. I think we need to pray more and ask God which gifts He has blessed each of us with. One of mine is definitely mercy. I give a lot of people a lot of latitude to be human, I try to be a cheerleader for people no matter how much or how little they are able to walk in the Christian lifestyle.

  2. mtsweat says:

    Point 5 is masterfully stated Judy. Considering that we are our number one idol to struggle against worshipping, what better examination than to take note Who is being followed because of our ministry? It’s been proven time and again that charisma (English definition) draws crowds, but only the Holy Spirit draws people to Jesus and holds them there, regardless of circumstances… or natural abilities.

    Very good words.

  3. Caddo-Jael says:

    I was probably too grumpy when I answered–some folks DO need encouraging. An example comes to mind today: there are people who believe they “can’t do anything right”, so they’re afraid to volunteer; it would probably bless them, as well as the folks they’ll serve, if someone would just assure them, “you’ll do FINE!” Have I redeemed my “stern 2 cents”, Judy? God bless your Saturday BIG–love, not-cranky-today Caddo

  4. Larry Who says:

    The first verse after the chapter on agape love (1 Corinthians 13) states: “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly the spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)

    Toward the end of Chapter 14, Paul goes a step further and states: “…covet, desire earnestly, boil over with zeal to prophesy…” (1 Corinthians 14:39)

    If Paul’s writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit (and I believe they were), then we have to say the Lord wants us to prophesy. Now, what gift is probably more underutilized in Christianity than prophecy? None.

    Why don’t more believers prophesy? There are numerous reasons, but by far the biggest one is fear. So, let’s cast our fears on the Lord and ask for the gift of prophecy. (Scripture states that we all can prophesy, not just a chosen few.)

    • Judy says:

      I’ve thought about that concept often, Larry. God wants us to desire his greatest gifts, and he’s ready to give us the desires of our hearts when they are focused on him. You said it well: fear keeps us from all kinds of God’s generous gifts. I pray for faith to drive out fear. Thanks Larry.

  5. Caddo-Jael says:

    My past experience in the church is that there are people who have servant hearts–and those who don’t. The ones who do, will pretty much serve wherever there’s a need–and happily–regardless of what their gifts may be. Those who don’t have servant hearts probably won’t even be open to discovering what their gifts are–they don’t have desire, but will likely say they don’t have “time”. The servants make time. There’s my possibly stern 2 cents worth. God bless you, Judy! love, sis Caddo

    • Judy says:

      Now that you mention it, that’s been my observation too. The statistic that 20% of the people do 80% of the work (did I get that right?) seems accurate. I have also found it to be true that is you want something done, ask a busy person. I wonder if that’s the way it is meant to be? I’m sure some people don’t serve because they simply don’t have time or inclination, but some may just need some encouragement. As always, I appreciate your two cents, Caddo! Have a blessed day!

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