Our last podcast was a conversation around the more mystical gifts of the Holy Spirit. About half way into the thick of it, I started to feel guilty for how cynical the conversation had moved. Why was I so cynical when discussing the mystical gifts? Why do I focus on the few negative examples of corrupted humans instead of the millennia of miracles from a good God?
When talking about miracles, I feel like there is a line drawn in the sand and we have to pick a side. You either take the side of the cynics or the mystics. You either think that all miracles are fake and just a big production for people to con money out of gullible people. Or, on the other side, you walk around in your wizards robe focusing on all the things that you cannot explain.
Christians shouldn’t fall an either category. As it is with almost everything in the world, we should fall into our own category. Cynicism is not compatible with faith. We must be sure that our hearts are free of cynicism that may limit the work of God in our lives. We must operate, not with naivety, but an assumption of the best in people. A cynical heart is a cold dead heart. We must also not walk around like our faith is magic. We do not possess these gifts to wield for our own benefit. Nor are we to not apply our reason and wrestle with the mysteries of God.
If we are not to walk on either of the extremes, then what does our position look like?
It looks like love.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the fruit of our relationship with Christ. The work that is done by a tree is in the roots, going deep into the earth. The fruit is a byproduct of the work that the tree does. If a tree does not establish good roots, it cannot bear fruit. That is why they do not try to produce fruit right away. I know this because I have had citrus trees for 5 years and they are just starting to produce good fruit. They needed the proper time to establish good roots.
If you are unsure how to approach the mystical gifts, then just focus on your relationship with Christ. Do the work of deepening your relationship with God. If we remain focused there, the Holy Spirit in our lives will produce fruit and the gifts will be bestowed as God sees fit.
In all honesty though, it doesn’t matter if He gives any gifts or not, because that’s not really the point. Which, ultimately is the point of this blog.
Forget mystics and cynics and just love Christ.