Jesus. Real Life.

One Spirit

“Gifts of the Spirit” What do you think about when you hear that? Go ahead and get a few pictures and concepts in mind.

“Fruit of the Spirit” What do you think about when you hear that? Again, go ahead and get a few concepts and images in your mind.

How similar are your pictures? Do we, practically speaking, based on what we associate with the gifts of the Spirit, almost think of two distinctly different “Spirits”–one that does fruit and another gifts? I’ve heard of ‘cafeteria catholics’, but is that what we in the West tend to do with the Spirit? I long for Paul’s attitude, (i) who prioritizes love, and simultaneously encourages folks to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, out of a desire to love and build others up, (ii) who speaks and prays in tongues and is glad for it, but when is with others, always seeks gifts that can benefit them, (iii) who in a nutshell sees the gifts as particular expressions of love for people from God, and wants us all to seek gifts in that vein.

There are many ways the Spirit works, but just one Spirit.  There is not a “social justice” Holy Spirit, and a separate “charismatic” Holy Spirit, and yet another that inspired the scriptures.  There’s just one who does all of that and more.  Can we embrace such a Spirit?


4 responses

  1. Interesting post here. A book I suggest is Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. It is about reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit. I highly suggest it. I am blogging all about it. See for yourself at

    January 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm

  2. i love the more holistic outlook toward a ‘biblical justice’ not just social justice or environmental justice…and the Spirit as well…too often we fragment our thoughts on ‘fruit’ and gifts’, etc. and we should embrace One who does all of that…

    i really appreciate most of your thoughts here T…and personally – having followed your erstwhile blogging for a few years – i think you would be a great voice in a conversation jason clark is starting next week at his deep church blog (

    it’s about re-imagining the Vineyard movement…and some of your observations have been exremely helpful (12-step spirituality, priesthood of believers) so my hope is that you might check out the conversation and maybe even give voice to some of this, because i probably will as well.

    anyway more on that series is here:

    peace to you

    March 5, 2010 at 8:11 am

    • Steven,

      Thanks for the kind comment and the links. I’ll definitely drop in on that conversation.

      March 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm

  3. Good point and post. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂


    Thorns and Myrtles

    March 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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