I was amazed to discover the other day that there are 27 Spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible!
They are prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation, apostleship, helps, administration, evangelist, pastoral, celibacy, voluntary poverty, martyrdom, hospitality, missionary, intercession and exorcism.
I have to laugh sometimes at how practical our God can be. Here we have all these lovely ‘spiritual’ gifts and in there somewhere is this amazingly practical gift of administration!
Romans 12:4-6 says “JUST AS EACH OF US HAS ONE BODY WITH MANY MEMBERS, AND THESE MEMBERS DO NOT ALL HAVE THE SAME FUNCTION, SO IN CHRIST WE WHO ARE MANY FORM ONE BODY, AND EACH MEMBER BELONGS TO ALL THE OTHERS. WE HAVE DIFFERENT GIFTS, ACCORDING TO THE GRACE GIVEN US”.
If you look at the list of gifts there are some there that each one of us should be practicing.
The gift of giving, the gift of mercy, the gift of helps and the gift of hospitality are all gifts that we are capable of exercising.
The gift I found very interesting was voluntary poverty. “It is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to renounce material comfort and luxury and adopt a personal life-style equivalent to those living at the poverty level in a given society in order to serve God more effectively”.
Well, Mother Teresa was certainly given that gift in abundance. She founded the Missionaries of Charity ministry in Calcutta and for 50 years she lived and worked among the poorest of the poor. She cared for orphans, AIDS patients, lepers, tuberculosis victims and many more in need.
God was speaking about material poverty and yet how many of us live in absolute poverty spiritually and emotionally. This kind of poverty is something that we have control of and it is in our power to change.
Even though, on a daily basis, Mother Teresa saw people starving with hunger she could still say the following:
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our homes to remedy this kind of poverty. Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat”
Each one of us is capable of doing something about this kind of poverty – all it takes is love.