I’ve noticed something of late. I am thankful, because it means there is more understanding being formed of the differences between the seven portions of my spirit. It’s as though each redemptive gift portion is letting me know, “I have something to say, say, say, say, say, say, say.”
Writing this in March 2020 provides the framework.
On a global basis, nations and individuals at all levels are experiencing unprecedented restrictive living and movement due to the Coronavirus pandemic. On a recent day I arrived at our two-person office (me and Mr. Shammah) with a mental list of people I needed and/or planned to communicate with, then sat down to practice the art of communicating – for the second day in a row. Two things caught my attention.
One was when I stepped back to assess the variety of communiques that came out of me; the other, reading the term someone had used of “emotional whiplash”. A light bulb came on and I began to see how the portions of my spirit had been engaged as if to say, “I have something to say, say, say, say, say, say, say.”
Let me illustrate through the lens of this more personal redemptive living story –
Prophet – “I have something to say”
Prophet showed up on day two when I replied to a note that had been sent to me a few weeks earlier. One does not live in community without rubbing shoulders in relationships. This one had been damaged and felt to my soul like the note looked when it arrived – ripped down the middle, a victim of the post office machinery. Sheathed in cellophane with the obligatory label of “so sorry for the damage”, nevertheless, I was able to read the note that surely came from the writer’s heart.
Since Prophet sees things in black and white, right and wrong, and has a large range of emotions, I felt strong and emotive about the details of what had gone down many months before. I reassured the writer of my forgiveness, but I did not default to the enabling Servant or the passive Teacher (major weaknesses on their respective checklists) – which, believe me, I had mastered well. Instead, I took the time necessary to respond from my heart in a way that honored them but allowed me to stand in the truth of the situation and what God required of me. Then, with my Prophet portion leading, I let them know the ball was theirs and hit send.
Servant – “I have something to say, say”
The Servant portion (who desires to empower others to achieve their best) crowded to the front on several social media posts. Initially, one might think it was Teacher, but not this time. It involved avidly sharing with parents numerous online virtual learning opportunities for their students now at home on a mandatory six weeks of school closures.
This was a minor example of Servant’s capability, but nonetheless, Servant’s nuance was noticed. Especially since I recognized within myself the desire to serve others some things not just to fill up time, but perhaps spark continued learning and discovery. If I couldn’t teach them due to social distancing and the fact that I’m not a schoolteacher, I could release resources rather than enable couch potatoes.
Teacher – “I have something to say, say, say”
Throughout these two days my Teacher portion’s sense of humor was in fine form. I love to laugh! The flip side is that when Teacher is operating front and center, as in me it often does, I tend to be in a more subdued and serious mode. Given the restrictions that COVID-19 has visited upon us, there needed to be an outlet. I found all kinds of funny things that made me laugh and my eyes crinkle. Grinning and chortling are good for the soul. I’m so glad my Teacher portion comes fully equipped with a funny bone!
Exhorter – “I have something to say, say, say, say”
Dear wordy Exhorter. Hear you are, even as I write-teach from real life examples with practical application. On one of these two specific days, you stepped up with your clipboard and a list of ways to entertain teens on this forced “I’m sooo bored” break from hanging out in their favorite social coveys.
In the past, I would simply have associated what I shared with my being a trained life coach, but when the light bulb went on, I recognized my Exhorter portion had taken over the keyboard for a bit. Flexible and quick to see opportunities, Exhorter homed in on the somewhat lost art of how to be a contributing member of the family – in the past known as “home economics classes”. Muffins and laundry and yard work, oh my! Budgets, re-purposing, and chef’ing, too! There was more, but by the time the list was typed out, Exhorter and Servant had both had their say – much to their contentment.
Giver – “I have something to say, say, say, say, say”
Since three of the four above instances had to do with sharing aka giving, one could tag it as Giver. Maybe my Giver portion joined in some of the sharing, but Giver had a heyday of its own!
One of the hardest things for a Giver portion of one’s spirit is the direct opposite: the ability to receive. When a Giver, wired to give generously (and not always money), learns how to receive, expansion occurs. They recognize that humbling themselves to be on the receiving end can provide them even more to turn around and give out. God’s favor upon them for giving is multiplied, and He brings much delight seeing His resources dispersed farther than one could ask or imagine.
On the first of the two days, I started the morning with a trip to my nearby usual grocer. There was not an egg to be found in the store! I posted on Facebook a funny testament to that reality and headed to the office to start my day of said various communications. Mid-afternoon I received a phone call with a ‘Can you drop everything and get over here? I saw you need eggs!’ On the other end of the line was restaurateur friends suddenly faced with a stock of perishable food. I was there in five minutes and left a half hour later with not only eggs, but a gift of a lot of other foodstuffs. More than we two could eat!
Giver drove home, opened the trunk, made the round of the neighbors in our little culdesac, and gave. God got the last laugh when one of the neighbors drove in, opened their window and said, “I saw you needed eggs; I bought you two dozen!” With thanks, I urged them to not only keep the eggs but gave them another flat along with several other food items. Giver God orchestrated a grocery giveaway in my trunk, with eggs, and welcome communication with neighbors that began in the heart of Giver friends.
Ruler – “I have something to say, say, say, say, say, say”
In this season – not just these two days, I am aware of the redemptive rebuilding occurring in the Ruler portion of my spirit as regards covenant and the generations. It increasingly flows beneath most everything these days from its inception years ago. Ruler is designed to be in life-giving covenant, not covenants that deliver death – to life, family, ministry, business, churches, and social institutions. Rulers impart blessing to bring freedom. Our culture, relationships, and institutions need them – with God.
Mercy – “I have something to say, say, say, say, say, say, say”
Finally but certainly not last, Mercy was probably the recipient of the most emotional whiplash. Mercy must worship for Mercy feels life and does not just do life. My Mercy portion’s share of communication over the course of these two days was bathed in heartfelt thankfulness for God’s healing and provision in lives. But because Mercy feels life, my own Mercy portion has come to know not only deep worship but deep ache, including times when another’s Mercy portion is hurting. Mercy is concerned with the heart message, not the head. The parts and the whole. The crown jewel of rightness. Now is Mercy’s day.
During this gift of opened-up time, I invite you to avail yourself of the resources on nancybentz.com. There is a time for everything under heaven – including discovering, growing, and nurturing your spirit.