I don't know if I'm a slow learner or if it takes all of us well into our adulthood to know and figure out our spiritual gifts.
I'm trying to prevent this in my children -- and verbalize what spiritual gifts I see in them. I'm not much of a visionary, so it's up to them to hear how God wants to use it in their lives, but I do think identifying your own gifts is the first step.
Partly because some vague gifts we don't realize that other people don't have.
So it is with my own gift of discernment.
That's one of the reasons that I started pondering us -- our beings, our souls, the part that makes us who we are -- as a house. I was trying to put words to my gift of discernment -- and why so few people appreciate it in me. :-)
As I stated, I think most people spend most of their relationships on their front porch. I'm learning that a few people don't ever go into their own homes at all -- too painful, perhaps, too disorderly... but they simply can't walk in there at all. Not even in the quiet of their own thoughts.
So there they are on the porch. I stroll by, seeing how our relationship is going.
This is where my discernment has gotten me in trouble more times than I care to think about.
Discernment allows me to see in your windows. Not necessarily all the way to your junk closet -- but I can tell if you have a junk closet or not, and if it's bulging at the hinges or if you clean it out periodically. I can peek into parts of your house you may already know but don't want to talk about... or you may have no idea because you don't want to know.
Being helpful, I think you should know:
"Um... your couch is on fire... would you like some help putting that out? I'll go with you to get water, call the fire department... I'll even help you pick out a new couch!"
"What??" you reply. "I don't have a couch! Don't be ridiculous! Hey, did you see the new flip flops I got? Did you hear about the awesome award my kid got? What about that new TV series? Aren't you watching it?"
"Uh... yeah... all those things are great. But, seriously. Your couch? Totally ablaze in there. Can I help you with that?"
And now I have crossed the line. Because people who don't go inside their own houses don't want to hear about what's going on in there. And they give me all kinds of reasons that I may THINK their couch may be on fire, but it actually isn't. And our relationship is quite icy from there on out.
Just as we have to teach children it's rude to look into other people's windows, so we must teach those with discernment to play the game and pretend not to see... until the person is ready to see. It's rude to look into other people's windows. Not everyone is ready for what is in there.