Not as Intended
“It will be fine!...it’s just an air soft gun.”
“I don’t like it…they look like real guns.”
“They have an orange tip on the end of the barrel.”
“I still don’t like it”
“It can help him learn how to properly handle firearms”
“But it’s not a real gun”
“Exactly!...now you are getting it…plus…what is the worst that can happen?”
“He could shoot his eye out”
“That rarely happens…plus…that was a Red Rider bb gun.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Metal balls…vs. plastic balls…plastic balls bounce off the skin, leaving painful welts, while metal balls can embed into the skin.”
“Do you remember the Nerf gun?”
“Yeah…but he can’t put pins out the end of the plastic balls like he could with the Nerf darts”
“That cat could have died!”
“But it didn’t…plus…it would have done the neighborhood a favor…”
“What about the toy bow and arrow”
“Same thing…there is no suction cup to take off of the plastic balls…and it’s not like he can sharpen the end of a plastic ball, and even if he did…it wouldn’t shoot straight.”
“If that arrow had been any closer to her head…”
“I know, I know…Carissa would now have three nostrils…”
“What about the lightsaber?”
“There is no such thing as a “real lightsaber…so it’s not like he really could have cut his sister in half”
Over the years we have had many wonderful toys pass through the confines of our humble home. Most of these toys were gifts. Gifts like Nerf guns, bows and arrows, lightsabers, baby dolls, old maid cards, bean bags, and more and more and more. All of the afore mentioned gifts…and many more unmentioned…have been abused…and in some cases used to cause abuse to other members of the family.
I remember a Godzilla toy I had as a child. This Godzilla creature had the habit of ripping off my sisters Barbie Doll heads. Likewise, GI Joe was no innocent bystander…he and his infantry would scale the walls of the Barbie Dream House and attack all occupants…Barbies…Kens….and Skippers. Nothing was left standing…except a baby sister screaming at GI Joe’s occipital master. It didn’t really bother me…in fact…secretly; I relished my sister’s pain.
The Church has been given amazing gifts and empowerments from the Holy Spirit. Yet, I fear that at times these gifts from the Spirit have been abused. We have focused these gifts upon ourselves rather than on building up the church. We have demanded the use of gifts in ways that are not ours to demand. We have promised gifts to be given, which are not ours to promise to give.
The bottom line is what we find in 1 Corinthians 12:11, the Holy Spirits gives the gifts…as He chooses…when He chooses…for why He chooses. We are to accept these gifts as gifts of grace…to be used to express God’s grace…and to build up the church.