I will use my gifts to serve the body of Christ for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NLT
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
God, thank you so much for making us all different and choosing to use our uniqueness in your kingdom work.
We are not replaceable. We are needed. We are valuable. We have a purpose.
Please forgive us when we doubt Your design and intention for our lives!
God, please prompt us to seek you more intentionally, with an open heart and mind towards discovering how You want to use our giftings in the body of Christ and as a testimony for your glory.
Enable us to move past insecurity and comparison.
God, help us to get comfortable in our own skin and join you in Your purposes daily.
In the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.
How familiar are you with your spiritual giftings and the way God wants to use them in your life? Have you seen evidence of your giftings being used at work or in ministry, within your family or friendships?
Sometimes the best way to discover our spiritual gifting is simply to be put in a situation that isn’t familiar.
I know that might sound strange, but it’s when we are out of comfort zone that we’ll see what our natural response, God-given abilities, and spiritual giftings more fully. But what if you get into that situation that you’re not made for? What if you completely fumble and fail? Well, it won’t feel good, but it will provide you with three awesome options:
- You can depend all the more on God’s power to manifest through you in light of your weakness.
- You can lean on those around you to step in and serve in their strengths, which will be a beautiful confirmation of their giftings.
- You can walk away certain that the next time that opportunity comes up, it would be better to let someone else take on the responsibility and/or be more prepared to serve because your past experience has prepared you for such a time as this.
This may not exactly be the course we’d like to take to figure out our spiritual gifts, but wouldn’t you agree that is it all too common for us? For example, it took serving on a women’s ministry team for me to discover that while I can carry out administrative tasks, my gifting is more on the side of teaching. Discussing sugar-covered cranberry recipes for the Christmas tea made me want to poke my eyes out. But I could have spent hours talking about the message and unpacking how we were going to impart the biblical application points.
Of course, another way to pinpoint your spiritual gifting is to do an assessment, like this one (it will take about 20 minutes), and then prayerfully consider how the results resonate with the way you see yourself and the opportunities God places before you. If you’re not sure about what each of the spiritual gifts, drawn from 1 Corinthians 12, looks like, start here.
The results from gifts assessments may confirm what you feel like God has already impressed upon your heart about your spiritual gifts and spur you on to say YES to the opportunities He places before you.
You may also find a good deal of understanding as to why certain roles are hard for you to fulfill. For example, my top three spiritual gifts are discernment, teaching, and wisdom, while my bottom three are serving, giving, and mercy. Ironically, I feel like I’m surrounded by those who are richly blessed with a heart for serving and giving and mercy. When I am with them, I can often feel like, “What on earth is wrong with me? Why don’t I feel that kind of generosity? Why don’t I jump up to serve with a contended and willing heart?” Well, I’m just not wired by God that way. And yet, I’m learning from these dear souls. I’m asking God to increase my heart of generosity and willingness to serve, as I take on roles that are outside of my gifting knowing that the stretching is good for the soul and keeps me in a moldable place before the Lord.
The beauty is that we can learn from each other.
We can ask God to stretch us and change us. It’s not that we want what others have, but that we want to be willing to be used anyway God sees fit. And that we want to learn what life is like outside of our own gifting, so that He may grow within us a heart of compassion and humility, thoughtfulness and kindness. That’s why can and ought to embrace His sanctification and transformational work in our lives, even in the area of spiritual giftings.
Because in the process of being stretched, God will deepen our giftings for His glory.
Yes, God marvelously wired us up to use a particular set of gifts in His grand purposes. But that doesn’t preclude Him from wanting to do even more in us, for us, and through us, all for accomplishing His Kingdom purposes.
How might God want to use your giftings in your community, family, and church body? And how might He want to stretch you by growing skills and appreciation of giftings that are different from yours?
To continue this journey of living brave and inviting the next generation to join you in the journey, get a copy of Brave Together: A Conversation Starter for Cultivating Biblical Mentoring Relationships.
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