Have you ever filled in a questionnaire that helps people to discover their God-given ministry gifts? Questionnaires can be useful in defining our strengths or in revealing what ways there are to serve God and the church.
Unfortunately, an individual may get a final score that does not accurately reflect their true gifting, because the results depend on how they see themselves. If we don’t have a realistic idea of what we are like, we choose options and get results that reflect our misconceptions.
Fortunately, if we are Christians, sooner or later God will start to reveal what we are like. Some of it is not good news, but helps us become more humble. We begin to see that God accomplishes his purposes not because of what and who we are but because of who He is.
When God calls individual Christians to do various tasks, it is therefore important that they want to co-operate and listen to Him. Right attitude is more important than talents or gifting. Jesus’ disciples were not known as the most gifted people of the day, but they were those who were willing to hear and respond to his call, teaching and instructions.
Sometimes failure will give a person the attitude that is needed. Peter, perhaps the most passionate of the disciples, did not think he would ever abandon or disown Jesus, but it happened. He failed and discovered that his good intentions, enthusiasm and natural abilities were not enough to sustain his calling.
At the end of John’s gospel Peter was back doing his old job of fishing. He had no great dreams of his future role or place in the Kingdom of God. But Jesus approached and called him again, because He knew his heart was right. There was no human ambition but just the qualities that were needed: love and a desire to obey. With the help of God’s Holy Spirit, Peter led the disciples further than anyone had thought possible.