Placing Spiritual Gifts and Besetting Sins

As a continuation of an earlier post about personal strengths and weaknesses, I want to add an additional observation about the placement of spiritual gifts and besetting sins.

As seen in the diagram above, spiritual gifts fit within the individual's abilities section. Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Peter 4:10-11 tell us that God gives believers one or more spiritual gifts to use in order to do good and to serve others. Unfortunately, believers are often only partially aware of their spiritual gifts, hence this dark green area spans across the sections of capabilities and strengths.

A besetting sin, on the other hand, is a harmful and selfish attitude or behavior that we are especially afflicted by. Hebrews 12:1 is the classic passage calling us to fight off the sins that so easily entangle us. These sins are often difficult for us to fully identify, hence their dark red area spans across the sections of weaknesses and blind spots. Some of these sins we struggle with, knowing our propensity to participate in them. Others we engage in, not even aware of the problem we have.

Since Christians are called to use their spiritual gifts, and to cast off their besetting sins, it is important to be able to properly identify each of these areas. This discovery process requires deep and honest reflection, conversations with wise others who know us well, and a desire to fully understand these areas in our lives. Since this discovery process is painful and takes time, the college years are an excellent opportunity to explore these areas. If you can graduate from college with a greater understanding of your spiritual gifts and besetting sins, you will become a much more mature and effective Christian who can impact the world in an especially powerful way.


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