The first time I visited a house of mirrors in a haunted house, my view of what I saw, was quite disturbing. While some mirrors made me look taller than I really am, others made me look much wider and much shorter. The mirrors were bowed and skewed in various ways to present a sometimes humorous, but always distorted view. Once we’ve stood before a distorted mirror, the image stays ingrained in the hidden recesses of the mind.
A post-sermon topic of my recent message “Why am I unique?” is discovering your uniqueness in Christ. I believe this requires a sober evaluation because a proclivity inherent in spiritual gifts is PRIDE. When we see our gift or unique SHAPE as a sign of our spiritual maturity or importance it can lead to destructive behavior and destroy the church.
If your motive is anything other than service oriented, then gifts will provide for you only a distorted image of your own spirituality. Your importance is not determined by the visibility or the spectacular impact of your SHAPE. It is determined by the very fact that you have been uniquely SHAPED for serving God and His church, and the community.
If thinking too much of yourself is the first problem with self-assessment, then the second devastating problem is under-evaluation. Paul bases his whole teaching on spiritual gifts on this crucial principle, no person in God’s kingdom is useless and no gift is too small (Romans 12:3-6). In the Winnie the Pooh books, flop-eared donkey Eeyore slumped around with his head between his legs thinking that he was of no particular value. Individuals who claim they have no gifts, abilities, or talents may sound piously humble, but they are behaving in a way that is unbiblical and hurts the body of Christ. Take God’s Word for it – You are gifted! You are exactly who God designed you to be, your function is vital to the body because God made you just as He desired.