I've recently been giving some thought to various doctrines about Spiritual gifts and gifts in general. We all have a certain attitude towards them. With the Brethren church which my roommate Cheddy attends, they believe in the cessation of gifts, that is no speaking in tongues, prophetic word, dreams, visions, etc. Some churches esteem certain gifts like tongues and even say if you don't speak in tongues you are not truly a Christian (a heavenly tongue, as opposed to the tongues of men). Most are somewhere in between. I grew up in a United Methodist Church and I have somewhat of a skepticism towards some of the spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues. It is something that I have had to keep an eye on, especially at The King's Centre where I attend church here in Canada. It is a church with Pentecostal roots and I often hear people speaking in tongues during worship or prayer. Ultimately my point isn't so much about tongues, but our attitudes towards our own gifts and callings and the gifts and callings of others.
Someone recently said, "Bible Translators are kind of like the rock stars of missionaries." This statement is loaded with the attitudes people and churches hold towards certain gifts and callings. We have certain assumptions about missionaries in general like they're more spiritual and closer to God and so forth than the people who remain behind. I also heard someone recently say, "One of the things people are always surprised about going out onto the mission field. They are expecting the older missionaries to be more spiritual and holy than they are, but then they arrive and find out that they're just people too." Ultimately it comes down to each person has certain assumptions about gifts and callings concerning how well people are being obedient to God. The missionary is almost always considered to be more obedient to God than the person who gives or the person who does prison ministry, or even the lady down the street who watches neighbors kids while they're at work. But obedience to God is not dependent on the task. We are not more spiritual or holy if we are preachers or missionaries than any other gift or calling. What determines obedience is whether we do what we are asked or not. Someone who becomes a missionary but was asked to lead a prayer group during youth group is being disobedient. Likewise, someone who makes coffee for the teachers at a public school each morning before taking their spot at the administration desk is being obedient if that is what they've been asked to do. So all I'm really saying is be aware of your assumptions. Don't assume someone is less spiritual or obedient to God because they aren't doing the "super-spiritual" things we are expecting to see from obedient servants of God.
For His Glorious Name,