Gifts of the Holy Spirit

06-05-2022Weekly Reflection

What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit Isaiah foretold that the Holy Spirit would rest upon the promised Messiah, Emmanuel, and that he would possess wisdom and understanding, counsel and fortitude, knowledge, fear of the Lord (Is 11:2), and piety. As Jesus was blessed with these gifts by his Father, every believer is blessed with the same gifts by the Holy Spirit.

Wisdom is first gift of the Holy Spirit and helps us judge what is important, meaningful, purposeful, etc, It is the ability to exercise good judgment. It is grounded in common sense and comes from life experience, thoughtful reflection, and learning life’s lessons in “The School of Hard Knocks.” Wisdom distinguishes between right and wrong, seeks and upholds truth and justice, and balances personal good with the common good. In the Old Testament wisdom is personified in Sophia, the mythical mother of faith, hope, and love; while in the New Testament wisdom is personified in Jesus himself.

Understanding is the gift of intelligence and enlightenment. To know something is different from truly understanding it. I can know a lot of facts about someone, but that is different from truly understanding that person. It is the ability to perceive, comprehend, and interpret information; to have insight and discern meaning.

Counsel is good advice. It helps us differentiate between right and wrong. It is the ability to teach and inform, guide and direct, warn and admonish, recommend and encourage. The Holy Spirit offers this special gift to parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, advisors, supervisors, elders, and the like. Counsel is not only the ability to give good advice, but to receive it as well.

Fortitude is an unwavering commitment to God or a proper course of action, and it shows itself is moral strength, courage, determination, patient endurance, long suffering, a resolute spirit, stamina, and resiliency.

Knowledge helps us to know God. It is the ability to study and learn; to acquire, retain, and master a wide spectrum of information; and to put it to good use for constructive purposes.

Fear of the Lord: proper disdain for sin and awe of God’s goodness and awe, reverence, and respect for God. It downplays human self-sufficiency and acknowledges that everything comes from God. Consequently, those who “Fear the Lord” gladly offer their praise, worship, and adoration to God alone.