Spiritual And/Or Natural Gifts – Maximus the Confessor

Christians need to be careful that they don’t treat the Spiritual gifts as simply a Christianized Myers-Briggs test. The empowering charismata of the Spirit shouldn’t be reduced into a baptized version of a personality analysis. Can our Spiritual gifts line up with and build upon our natural giftings? Sure. But the Spirit empowers believers to act beyond their natural inclinations and capabilities.

Maximus the Confessor says it well:

“The grace of the Most Holy Spirit does not confer wisdom on the saints without their natural intellect as capacity to receive it; nor does he give the gift of knowledge where there is not a natural rational ability to receive it; nor does he give faith without total certainty of intellect and reason regarding future realities; nor does he give charisms and healings where there is no natural love for our neighbor, note any one of the other charisms where the conditions are not right and there is no matching ability to receive them. In any case, no one will ever come to possess any of the gifts we have mentioned through any natural ability whatever, but only through the divine power that confers them.

[Various Chapters, IV. 13 (PG 90.1308-9)]