The Convergence Principle – Part 3

In His conversation with a Jewish leader, Jesus clarified the purpose of life on this earth: “Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no greater commandment than these” (Mark 12:29-31 NIV).

In this simple but clear statement, Jesus brought into focus the mission He has created us to fulfill through the lives He’s given us.  I believe the real question we’re asking is this: “How do I personally carry out my responsibility to love God with all of my being, and to learn to authentically love others with this same love?”

As three specific elements in our lives converge, they reveal a picture of how God intends for each of us to uniquely live out His purpose on this earth (convergence).  For many years I have been teaching clients, groups, classes, and readers what I have entitled the Convergence Principle.  The personal testimonials and positive responses this principle has received have legitimized its effectiveness.  It provides a framework for men and women of all walks of life to build their life-purpose upon.

Not only has my own life-purpose been an unfolding of the paradox principles I’ve woven throughout this book, it also began to come into focus as I personally implemented this simple yet profound concept of convergence in my own life.

  • My life experiences and passions.
  • My inborn, God-given temperament.
  • My God-given spiritual gifts.

Spiritual giftsGod-Given Spiritual Gifts

As we’ve already explored, our life experiences and passions define who in our lives we may have the greatest credibility and relevance to influence with the love of Jesus.  Our inborn, God-given temperament paints a broad understanding of how we might interact with those God has prepared us to uniquely connect with.  Now, let’s look at spiritual gifts – the unique “God-talents” – that the Bible says God gives every one of His children for the purpose of fulfilling God’s purposes through our lives.  This (or these) gifts define what means God might likely use in our lives to make the greatest impact in the lives of others.

Spiritual gifts are supernatural enablers so we may serve God more effectively in the world and in the church through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift, and many have been given more than one.  The various spiritual gifts are listed in Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 13-15, and elsewhere in God’s word.  I encourage you to read and study these scriptures to learn more.

It is very important to understand that our spiritual gifts may or may not complement what we believe to be our strengths.  They are not based on our human capabilities, but on God’s supernatural empowerment within us and through us.  I’ve experienced many times when God made the most significant impact in others’ lives or situations when I felt the most inadequate, under-equipped, unprepared, or lacking competence.  I think God often does this so that when amazing things happen, He gets the credit and praise!  And I just sit back and marvel at how He takes my small contribution and multiplies it beyond my human understanding.

My favorite example from the Bible of Jesus taking a human being’s small contribution and exponentially turning it into enough to meet the needs of others is the story known as “the fish and the bread,” found in Matthew 14:15-21 (NIV):

“As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late.  Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’  Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat.’  ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered.  ‘Bring them here to me,’ Jesus said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then He handed them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, (plus a great number of) women, and children.”

Passionately seek after an understanding of your spiritual gifts.  All spiritual gifts are given for the betterment and building up of the Christian community, never for self-promotion.  Ask God to reveal to you where and how He intends for your gifts to be used in accordance with His purposes.

There are multiple assessment tools available that help us discover the spiritual gifts God placed in our lives.  I encourage you to seek guidance from a Christian counselor, pastor, spiritual mentor, or trusted Christian friend.  Here is a link to a gifts assessment instrument that we use with clients in our office.  It is provided by LifeWay ministries.

When combined, an authentic acceptance of our life passions, an understanding of our inborn temperament, and an awareness of our God-given spiritual gifts, empowers us to carry out the purpose God has placed in our lives.

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