Several days ago I spent about half a day ministering with someone whose gift set from God is so totally different from mine. It caused me frustration on the one hand and great appreciation on the other. I am fast paced and this person is slow paced. I’m focused and this person is more casual. But this day I was on his turf so I needed to follow his lead.
As the day went along I kept getting ahead of it and wanting to move things along more quickly. He remained patient and sensitive in a way that was completely beyond me. When it was over I knew I could never do what he does so well. I’m sure he couldn’t trade places with me either but I realized how much I appreciate him and others who are as different from me as night and day.
Truthfully, the person receiving the ministry needed things to be done his way, not mine. His way made the person feel comfortable and cared for and my way would have made the person feel awkward and rushed. Even as I struggled to control my impatience I knew that I was seeing God’s loving care poured out through this man to another person.
The Bible says; “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:4) How easy it is for me to dismiss other people’s gifts and style because they are so alien to me. My experience from a few days ago changed that. I was grateful when the day was over because I was like a duck out of water but I also would not trade the experience for anything. And for the sake of the person we ministered to, thank God my friend’s gifts are not like mine.